When you think about cartoon and animation in the 21st century you have to think about Manga and Anime. Almost every genre of the animator’s art has been influenced and in many cases subsumed into the Japanese lexicon of animation style, shorthand and powerful iconography.
Seminal artists like Frank Miller and the richness and volume of the wave of Japanese inspired cartoons mean that the flavour and feel of the art form is very different from even a couple of decades ago. And with Manga has come the Japanese take on the depiction of sexuality. Before we had the bulging muscles of male superheroes and the ample bosoms of their female counterparts. Now we have tentacled monsters, transsexual fox-eared girls and alien sex fiends.
The Internet has played its part in spreading this genre and because of the uncensored nature of that medium the explicit and extreme has proliferated along with some more subtle and artistic pieces of work. Because of the more unconventional and hardcore Manga and Anime erotica expressed in that medium is often maligned.
The question I have is “What about Aubrey Beardsley?” his images are often provocative and challenging, a few might be regarded as pornographic and yet were undoubtedly the carton erotica of their times.
If good art can be erotic the century doesn’t matter and if we find it arousing then great. That’s why I think that great cartoon art can be erotic and just because we have high def video, mega-pixel cameras and now 3D we shouldn’t ignore the potential for a well crafted still, 2D image to arouse us.
In which case you can make all your fantasies come alive because the only limit to what a cartoon artist depicts is their imagination.