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Fetusx fx082106painting.jpg
Eric Millikin's Fetus-X comics often explore themes of the occult and romance.
Author(s) Eric Millikin; previously with Casey Sorrow
Website http://www.fetusx.com/
Current status / schedule Weekly
Launch date Late 1999
Genre(s) Horror, Comedy, Romance, Political

Fetus-X is a controversial weekly romantic horror comic written and drawn by Eric Millikin, award-winning American cartoonist and former human anatomy lab embalmer and dissectionist.[1]

Fetus-X has been published in newspapers, books, and as a webcomic since late 1999.[2] The first Fetus-X comics were drawn by artist Casey Sorrow, who later left to create the comic Feral Calf. The storylines of Fetus-X generally revolve around Millikin's use of the occult in both romantic relationships and battles with various ghosts, demons, aliens, and monsters. The artwork is mixed media, combining expressionist paintings with found objects. The text is often written in free verse.


Millikin began drawing horror comics by age one-and-a-half, when he made crayon drawings of ghosts terrorizing him during toilet-training. By second grade, he was making teachers' birthday cards showing his school burning down captioned "Fuck you." [3]

The first Fetus-X newspaper strips were published in spring 2000 in Michigan State University's The State News. Immediately there were problems with censorship, Catholic League protests, and threatened cancellation. After six months, The State News cancelled the comic strip despite support from some readers.[2] It continues to be published on the web and in many college newspapers and in alternative newspapers such as Detroit's Metro Times.[4]

In the fall of 2002, Fetus-X became part of the subscription-based online alternative comics anthology Serializer, a spin-off of the successful webcomics site Modern Tales. Other comics on Serializer included Achewood Sunday Edition, The Magic Whistle, Pup and Little Laurie Sprinkles.[5] In the fall of 2005 Fetus-X became a free comic on Webcomics Nation.

In June 2006, Millikin was interviewed in the book Attitude 3: The New Subversive Online Cartoonists, edited by award-winning syndicated editorial cartoonist Ted Rall. Attitude 3 also includes other webcomics such as Cat and Girl, Dinosaur Comics, Diesel Sweeties, and The Perry Bible Fellowship.[6]

After being offline due to a server crash, Serializer relaunched in October, 2006 under the editorship of Eric Millikin.[7][8] Fetus-X was among the comics on the relaunched serializer, along with A Softer World, Idiot Box, and Templar, Arizona.[9]

Characters and plot[edit]

Typical plots of Fetus-X comics involve Eric Millikin, the creator of the comic, engaged in activities such as being killed by vampire hunters, being eaten by a dinosaur, and sawing off his own arm[10] then replacing it with a zombie's. He is often accompanied by Fetus-X, a psychic zombie fetus floating in a jar of formaldehyde,[11] and Anal Ho Tep, a resurrected Egyptian mummy who enjoys anal sex and was formerly a grave robber.[12] Millikin also has a kitten named Patches which he built by stapling together roadkill lying around his house and who has a tentacle for a tail.[13] Many of the stories are about Millikin trying to bring Alicia, his fork-throwing poltergeist cheerleader girlfriend, back from the dead.

One of Millikin's frequent nemeses is El Chupacabra, a goat-sucking extraterrestrial and masked Mexican professional wrestler. In ancient Egypt, El Chupacabra forced Anal Ho Tep into slave labor for purposes of building the pyramids. In contemporary times, the U.S. government maintains a color-coded Chupacabra alert system which was recently raised to metallic magenta.[14]

Other characters have included United States President George W. Bush, candidate John McCain, Areola (a mermaid), Satana (a devil girl), Bunny (a research test rabbit), and Jesus (the son of God).

Critical reaction[edit]

In their review of serializer.net, The Comics Journal wrote: "It's a pleasure to see strips like ... Fetus-X use the newspaper format for far more daring, entertainingly perverse work ... [Fetus-X] would be perfectly at home at a good alternative weekly or a great college paper." [15] In their review of Attitude 3, the American Library Association's Booklist wrote that "the visual style of Eric Millikin’s Fetus-X 'crosses Edvard Munch with an incipient victim of high-school suicide.'" [16]

Since 2000, Fetus-X has been the target of protest campaigns organized by the Catholic League for its "blasphemous treatment of Jesus".[17] "This particular comic is offensive to Catholics and Christians," Catholic League spokesman Patrick Scully said in August 2002. "It completely ridicules the Catholic faith and is not funny."[2] The Hartford Advocate has called Millikin a "borderline sociopath."[18]

Fetus-X was named one of the best webcomics of 2004 by The Webcomics Examiner, who called it "one of the sharpest political commentaries available. In an era where presidents are treated as messiahs, and questioning the fatherland’s foreign policies is socially unacceptable, Eric shows how necessary it is to yell at the top of your lungs about the madness of it all."[19]

In 2006, Fetus-X was nominated for multiple Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards including Outstanding Comic, Outstanding Single Panel Comic, and Outstanding Romantic Comic. It (referred to as "Foetus-X") was later disqualified for not meeting the Award's defined genre criteria for romance comics.[20] In 2007, Fetus-X was again nominated for multiple Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards including Outstanding Romantic Comic. It was not disqualified from the romance category in 2007.

Fetus-X was used along with Penny Arcade, American Elf and Questionable Content as an example of comics using the web to create "an explosion of diverse genres and styles" in Scott McCloud's 2006 book Making Comics.[21]

Side projects[edit]

Eric Millikin has won awards for his illustrations for major newspapers such as The Detroit News.[22] Feral Calf is a comic by former Fetus-X artist Casey Sorrow. It is about feral fish people doing strange things to each other and is also hosted on Webcomics Nation. Eric Millikin and Casey Sorrow also created the holiday Monkey Day (celebrated December 14) as an opportunity to educate the public about monkeys, as a holiday that supports evolution rather than religious themes, and an excuse to throw monkey-themed costume parties.[23][24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Zabel, Joe (June 14, 2004). "Cutting Up The Dead: An interview with Eric Millikin". The Webcomics Examiner
  2. ^ a b c Bennet, Brandon (August 1, 2002). "Guest appearance helps ‘Fetus-X’ move forward". The State News
  3. ^ Breithaupt, Christy (July 26, 2006). "Dark visions: MSU grad's 'Fetus-X' comic earns national recognition". Lansing State Journal
  4. ^ Millikin, Eric (April 13, 2005). "Holy Shit, the Pope is Dead". Metro Times
  5. ^ Hart, Tom and Joey Manley (Oct. 21, 2002). "Modern Tales And Tom Hart Launch Serializer.Net Today".
  6. ^ Rall, Ted (2006). Attitude 3: The New Subversive Online Cartoonists, New York: Nantier, Beall, Minoustchine. ISBN 1-56163-465-4.
  7. ^ Xerexes, Xaviar (Dec. 2006). "The Comixpedia End of 2006 Roundtable".
  8. ^ MacDonald, Heidi (Oct. 12, 2006). "Serializer.net returns".
  9. ^ Bors, Matt (Oct. 24, 2006). "Serializer.net".
  10. ^ Millikin, Eric. "I sawed off my own arm!". Fetus-X. Webcomics Nation. Retrieved 2006-09-03. 
  11. ^ Millikin, Eric. "Psychic Fetus Fucked With My Brain!". Fetus-X. Webcomics Nation. Retrieved 2006-11-26. 
  12. ^ Millikin, Eric. "Unidentified F'ing Object". Fetus-X. Webcomics Nation. Retrieved 2006-11-26. 
  13. ^ Millikin, Eric. "I Dared Create a Kitten from Corpses!". Fetus-X. Webcomics Nation. Retrieved 2006-11-26. 
  14. ^ Millikin, Eric. "Unidentified F'ing Object". Fetus-X. Webcomics Nation. Retrieved 2006-11-26. 
  15. ^ Wood, Mariko (March 2003). "Download: Good Comics and Baud Web Comics". The Comics Journal, No. 251, p. 38.
  16. ^ Flagg, Gordon (August 2006). "Attitude 3: The New Subversive Online Cartoonists". Booklist, p. 23.
  17. ^ "Michigan State President Acts Presidential". (November 2000). Catalyst Journal of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
  18. ^ Bisbort, Alan. "Stand-Up Comics". Hartford Advocate. Archived from the original on 2007-02-23. Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  19. ^ "The Best Webcomics of 2004". The Webcomics Examiner. Retrieved 2007-03-18. 
  20. ^ Mekkes, Mark (2006-07-21). "Final WCCA Voting Begins!" (blog post). Comixpedia. Xavier Xerexes. Retrieved 2007-02-16. after extensive review, it has been determined by the WCCA Committee that Foetus-X's nomination for "Outstanding Romance Comic" does not comply with the Outstanding Romance Comic category's genre criteria 
  21. ^ McCloud, Scott (2006). Making Comics, New York: Harper Collins Publishers. ISBN 0-06-078094-0, p. 227.
  22. ^ "News is honored by sports editors". (February 28, 2003). The Detroit News, p. 1H.
  23. ^ McKenzie, Charlie "Holiday monkey business". (December 8, 2005). Hour (Montreal, Quebec)
  24. ^ "A toast to Bubbles". (December 8, 2005). Los Angeles City Beat

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