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Italy’s Guido Crepax is one of the most internationally acclaimed cartoonists in the world. Instantly recognizable, his work is characterized by its erotically charged stylistic approach and seriousness of purpose. Valentina, his most famous character, was based on his wife Luisa, and the actresses Louise Brooks (Pandora’s Box) and Anna Karina (star of many Jean-Luc Godard’s films). Arguably the strongest and most independent female character in European comics up till this time, Crepax’s depiction of Valentina’s sensuality was so sophisticated that it single-handedly legitimized the erotic element in European comics. Only a handful of Crepax’s works have been reprinted in English, none currently available.

Crepax: Dracula, Frankenstein, and Other Horror Stories features, in addition to the artist’s unique take on the eponymous literary works by Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley, a half dozen Valentina stories from the ’60s and ’70s, several never before published, and influenced by contemporary fashion, architecture, and the French New Wave. Published in an oversized, deluxe coffee table format, this first of ten volumes in the complete works of Crepax will be a revelation to American readers.

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