Artful Musing

Q&A: Sex-obsessed men, what Matthew Firth won’t tell Mom, and how a Spiderman action figure became a sex toy

By Paul Gessell

Matthew Firth’s new book of short stories, Shag Carpet Action, will bowl you over and leave you gobsmacked.

Some of the stories are raunchy. Others are violent. Still others will make you laugh aloud. One is downright sordid. But they are all about very believable people, except perhaps for the one in which a woman turns a Spiderman action figure into a sex toy. Women and Spiderman do not fare well in Firth’s stories.

The Ottawa author of such previous books as Suburban Pornography and Other Stories and Can You Take Me There, Now? recently subjected himself to a quiz from the Artful Blogger.

Q. Have any Spiderman fan clubs threatened violence against you for the sexual abuse inflicted on a Spiderman action figure in the story Action?

A. Well, not yet. But is it really abuse? Seems the Spidey in the story gets off on his role as a makeshift dildo, doesn’t he? The abuse really comes in a more violent form at the hands of the young boy in the story who rips Spiderman’s arms off. But that, as it turns out, opens up new possibilities for the action figure. However, I would agree that there are likely Spiderman fans out there who would be upset at how poor Spidey is portrayed in the story. I have not heard from any, however. Maybe they don’t read a lot of salty CanLit. Who knows? (more…)