Official Press Release
The long lascivious love letter by an assistant to a prominent book editor (who was married), a steamy fantasy of utter and complete submission that shocked the French bourgeoisie of the 50’s, is back, in its remarkable and ground-breaking adaptation into comics by the Italian Guido Crepax.
For years, there was speculation that Pauline Reage, a pen name for the woman, had in fact authored this defiant shameless novel in honor of someone in the publishing industry, all the more shocking for having been written by a woman. It had become part of the scandalized word of mouth that followed the release of this book which, indeed, the French government did try to suppress.
Twenty years later, Guido Crepax, a pioneer in creating comics for adults, adapted the instant classic into what was to become a classic in comics, and not just erotic comics. It is probably his magnum opus. In his distinct multi-paneled breakdown of pages which emphasizes the voyeuristic experience, the smaller frames almost making one feel as if peeping through a keyhole, he shows the willful descent into complete submission of O, who gives herself up to bondage, humiliation, sexual acts with multiple partners, sodomy and even gets branded, all because it is the desire of her lover.
Finally, she 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 to 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 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 many artists the world over. Crepax passed away in 2003. The true identity of Pauline Reage was finally revealed, along with her full story, in a New Yorker article which appeared in 1994.
After First Time, which appeared earlier this year, this is the second deluxe edition of truly memorable and intelligent erotic comic art from Eurotica and is a return to roots for NBM’s imprint, as it was its first book when launched in 1990. Published as 2 paperbacks, these editions went on to sell in the tens of thousands.