You’d think for St. Patrick’s Day I’d find a way to sing the praises of my Irish heritage with some pop culture twist. Well, I hope you all enjoy the holiday today and find some way to enjoy green beer and corned beef.
But today I am celebrating the other, more dominant side of my ethnic heritage. I’m mostly Italian. So instead let me laud the praises of Korero Press’ fourth volume in their Sex and Horror series.
As a bit of background, many Italian comics aren’t anything like domestic (U.S.) comics. During the U.S. Silver and early Bronze Ages (in the 60s and 70s), Italy’s fumetti sexy comics were all the rage. They typically showcased lurid and suggestive covers and then black and white interior stories.
To me, they all seemed one step over from those scary Hammer Films of the day. That mix of scary stuff with attractive women that serves to titillate and repulse the viewer all at once. The brilliant part is that they used magnificently skillful artists.
The British Publisher Korero Press kicked of this series with a volume devoted to Emanuele Taglietti. Like the smell of red sauce wafting from your favorite Italian Restaurant – Korero has been beckoning me to come back for more.
This volume is a little different. Instead of focusing on just one artist, in this one we’re exposed to (emphasis on exposed) so many skillful artists:
- Alessandro Biffignandi and his covers for Messalina, la dea dell’amore (Messalina, the Goddess of Love) follows the ancient adventures of a Roman Empress.
- Il Vampiro Presenta ran for 123 issues, and features covers by Fernando Carcupino and Karel Thole.
- Fradiavolo (Brother Devil) , subtitled Storie di Briganti (Tales of the Brigands) showcases the art of Eros Kara Pintor.
These illustrations are fantastic in the classic sense of the word, but they aren’t for the squeamish. In the old days, I’d advise you to hide this book if your mother came for a visit.
But still – it’s deliciously repugnant fun and yet another chapter of Geek Culture to dive into and learn about.