Castration comics from Mary Roach and Ariyana Suvarnasuddhi

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My last book, Bonk, has a chapter about penis transplants and reattachments. It includes the story of an epidemic of penile dismemberments in Thailand during the 1970s. In the wake of a well-publicized case, more than 100 angry Thai women hacked off the penises of their adulterous husbands while they slept. Often the women threw the severed organs out the window in disgust, attracting the attention of the livestock that hang out in the shade beneath the elevated homes of rural Thailand. (Oddly, it was ducks, not pigs, that went after the penises -- often enough that there's a saying in Thailand now: "I better get home, or the ducks will have something to eat.")

A couple months ago, a young Baltimore comic artist and illustrator named Ariyana Suvarnasuddhi sent me these amazing panels inspired by the story. "When I first read that passage about the epidemic I remembered thinking 'Of course!'" she told me in an email. "Not just because I'm Thai, but because any reference to Thailand in American entertainment seems to be about either prostitution or transvestites."

Click the images to view them larger. You can see more of Ariyana's work at