Named one of 50 Essential Graphic Novels by AbeBooks
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.
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, Booklist
"…[McKean] has created a wordless tale that's more about arty tricks than getting your kicks…. It's a grown-up approach to sex, and… a rich escapist read…" – Eleanor Goodman, Bizarre
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