A woman arrives at an apartment, but her partner can’t get away from work. She is disappointed and settles in for a night alone, but finds a film projector with a reel of film loaded. The film is scratched and blurry, but she can make out a couple making love. When the film burns out, a door is revealed which leads to a misty town square... and a series of fantastical sexual encounters.
But the plot doesn’t really matter. Celluloid is a rare instance (especially among Anglo-Saxons) of a top-flight cartoonist working within erotic — even pornographic, to embrace the word — parameters, with the intent of creating a genuine work of art.
As the artist says: “There are so many comics about violence. I’m not entertained or amused by violence, and I’d rather not have it in my life. Sex, on the other hand, is something the vast majority of us enjoy, yet it rarely seems to be the subject of comics. Pornography is usually bland, repetitive and ugly, and, at most, ‘does the job’. I always wanted to make a book that is pornographic, but is also, I hope, beautiful, and mysterious, and engages the mind.”
Bringing to bear the astonishing range of illustrative and storytelling skills that have served him so well on his collaborations with Neil Gaiman and such solo projects as the (recently re-released) epic graphic novel Cages, Dave McKean forges into new territory with this unique work of erotica. 232 pages of full-color illustrations
"...McKean... tears through different artistic styles in explicit imagery that’s too striking for simple titillation, and while the dark edge in his work is palpable, it never turns disturbing (those with different sensibilities, however, may dispute both those assessments). For all its entwined body parts, unblushing exhibitionism, and surreal juxtapositions, this is both high art masquerading as pornography and transgressive erotica with lofty intentions, and it is respectful of both its subject and its audience." — Ian Chipman
Dave McKean is one of my favorite modern artists and his comic book works are astonishingly beautiful and haunting. His unique visual sensibility makes this text-less graphic (very graphic) erotica completely original. In terms of wordless graphic novels, I've only read a few and this one is intriguing since it incorporates fantasy elements with reality and with no textual explanation. Like all of his work it is wondrously imaginative and slightly unnerving, yet in a way that is never gratuitously … more