The Story of O is, of course, the classic novel of female SM submission – the book that shocked the bourgeoisie of France in the ’50s. The story has been adapted, it has been filmed and it has been copied and this version is by far the best.
Guido Crepax, the great pioneer of sensual graphic comics, uses multi-panelled pages to give the impression that you are peeping through a keyhole into O’s world of SM submission. She gives herself up to bondage, humiliation, sex with multiple partners, sodomy and even gets branded, all because it is the desire of her lover.
Finally, O is gloriously shown off, stark naked but for an owl’s mask, to a shocked crowd of high society party-goers. It is, in fact her own moment of glory, not, ironically, that of her lover. That she would have the courage to exhibit herself so shamelessly, on a leash, completely liberated from the constraints of society is, in fact, an act of defiance of the social suppression of sexuality.
Guido Crepax, born in Milan in 1933, was one for the founding artists of the legendary comics for adults magazine Linus and became a pioneer in showing that comics could be an art form for any age. His staccato method of page breakdowns is a signature element of his work that has influenced artists the world over. Crepax passed away in 2003.
This hardcover edition is a real collectors’ item. It is published by Nantier Beall Minoustchine in November 2009, size 8 ½, 11”, 176pp., B&W, clothbound, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-56163-573-3.
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