Guido Crepax

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Guido Crepax
Born Guido Crepas
July 15, 1933(1933-07-15)
Milan, Italy
Dies July 31, 2003 (aged 70)
Milan, Italy
Nationality Italian
Area(s) artist, writer
Notable works Valentina
Histoire d'O Belinda

Guido Crepax (born Guido Crepas, Milan, July 15, 1933 - July 31, 2003) was an Italian comics artist, who deeply influenced the European adult comics world in the second half of 20th century. He is most famous for his character Valentina, created in 1965 and very representative of the spirit of the sixties. The Valentina series of books and strips became noted for Crepax's sophisticated drawing, and for the psychedelic, dreamlike storylines, generally involving a strong dose of eroticism.


[edit] Life

Crepax is a son of cellist Gilberto Crepax (1890—1970) and grown up in the musical environment; the closest friend of his childhood was Claudio Abbado[1].

Crepax began to work as a graphic artist and an advertisement illustrator while still studying architecture (he degreed in 1958), producing posters as well as covers for magazines (including the Italian edition of Galaxy), books and LPs. The latter were mainly for classical music and jazz, including Gerry Mulligan, Fats Waller, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, Italian Jazz Stars, but also for more popular works like 'Nel blu dipinto di blu by Domenico Modugno.

In 1957 he became renowned for his advertisement campaign for the Shell Oil Company in Italy, which received a Gold Palm for advertisement. The next year he started his collaboration with Tempo Medico, the first Italian medical review, for which he drew all the covers until the mid-1980s.

[edit] Comics

Crepax is best known for his surreal-erotic comic book Valentina

In 1963 he entered the world of comics, and two years later he created his most famous character, Valentina. Valentina Rosselli appeared for the first time in the N°2 of the Italian comics magazine Linus, as a secondary character in the series featuring her boyfriend, the art critic Philip Rembrandt, the superhero Neutron.[2]

The first episode was intitled La Curva di Lesmo (referring to a curve in the Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix racetrack at Monza), and was followed by other 30, collected in a total of 7 books, along with two others Lanterna magica ("Magic Lantern", 1977) and Valentina pirata ("Valentina pirate"), the first in full colour.

Valentina, inspired by the silent film actress Louise Brooks, soon became the main character of the series, whose last episode was published in 1995. Valentina's stories are a weird mix of oneiric, science fiction, fantasy, espionage and (especially later) erotic themes. They met a large success in Italy and abroad, especially in France. Neutron was largely overshadowed and seemingly lost his superpowers: however, he was later protagonist of a long solo graphic novel published in the magazine Corto Maltese. Inspired by Homer's Odyssey, it is considered one of the highest peaks of Crepax's production, also from the writing point of view, which was often pointed out as the weakest element in his stories.

Apart from Valentina, Crepax produced other comic books featuring different heroines, including Belinda, Bianca, Anita and Francesca. The blonde Anita, inspired by the Anita Ekberg of Federico Fellini's movie La dolce vita, was the protagonist of a striking dreamy story in which she has sex with a TV (preceding Cronenberg's Videodrome). In spite of her name meaning "White" in Italian, Bianca had long black hair: she was featured in several books, including Crepax's version of Gulliver's Travels. Francesca's stories, about the life of a high school student, are unusual as they have no erotic connotations at all.

Crepax also adapted to comics some of the classics of erotic literature like Histoire d'O, Justine and Emmanuelle. In 1977 he finished an adventure comic book, L'uomo di Pskov ("The man of Pskov"), followed one year later by L'uomo di Harlem, concerning the world of jazz in New York. Both were published by Sergio Bonelli Editore, the same of Tex Willer.

Crepax's last work, Frankenstein, an adaptation of the novel by Mary Shelley, was published in 2002.

His comic books were translated in several foreign countries, including France, Brazil, Spain, Germany, Japan, United States, Finland and Greece.

[edit] Works

Cover for the French edition of Crepax's adaption of Histoire d'O

[edit] Valentina books

  • Valentina (1968), Milano Libri
  • Valentina speciale (1969), Milano Libri
  • Valentina con gli stivali (1970), Milano Libri
  • Baba Yaga (1971), Milano Libri, all'interno di Alì Baba Yaga
  • Ciao Valentina! (1972), Milano Libri
  • Valentina nella stufa (1973), Milano Libri
  • Diario di Valentina (1975), Milano Libri
  • A proposito di Valentina (1975), Quadragono Libri, edited by Francesco Casetti
  • Valentina in giallo (1976), Milano Libri
  • Valentina assassina (1977), Milano Libri
  • Ritratto di Valentina (1979), Milano Libri
  • Riflesso di Valentina (1979), Arnoldo Mondadori
  • Lanterna Magica (1979), Edizioni d'arte Angolare
  • Valentina pirata (1980), Milano Libri, in colour
  • Valentina sola (1981), Milano Libri, in colour
  • Valentina, storia di una storia (1982), Olympia Press
  • Per amore di Valentina (1983), Milano Libri
A psychedelic page from a Belinda book
  • Io Valentina, la vita e le opere (1985), Milano Libri
  • Nessuno (1990), Milano Libri
  • Valentina e le altre (1991), Mondadori, collana Oscar
  • Valentina, la gazza ladra (1992), Rizzoli-Milano Libri
  • Valentina a Venezia (1992)
  • E Valentina va... (1994), Rizzoli-Milano Libri
  • Valentina (1995), Fiction inc. Tokyo
  • Al diavolo, Valentina (1996)
  • In arte... Valentina (2001), Lizard Edizioni
  • Valentina (2003), Panini Comics

[edit] Other heroines

  • La casa matta (feat. Bianca, 1969), Edip
  • Anita, una storia possibile (1972), Persona/Ennio Ciscato Editore
  • Histoire d'O (1975), Franco Maria Ricci Editore, from the novel by Pauline Réage
  • Emmanuelle (1978), Olympia Press, from the novel by Emmanuelle Arsan
  • Justine (1979), Olympia Press, from the novel La nouvelle Justine by De Sade
  • Hello, Anita! (1980), L'isola trovata, in colour
  • Belinda 1 & 2 (1983), Editori del Grifo
  • I viaggi di Bianca (1984), Milano Libri, inspired by Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels
  • Venere in pelliccia (1984), Olympia Press, inspired to a tale by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch.
  • Bianca 2. Odesseda (1987), Editori del Grifo
  • Emmanuelle l'antivergine (1990), Rizzoli
  • Eroine alla fine: Salomé (2000), Lizard Edizioni
  • Crepax 60|70 (feat. Belinda, and Valentina 2003), Fiction inc. Tokyo
Cover for a French book featuring Anita

[edit] Other works

  • L'astronave pirata (1968), Rizzoli
  • Il dottor Jekill (1972), Persona/Ennio Ciscato Editore
  • Circuito interno (1977), Edizioni Tempo Medico
  • Casanova (1977), Franco Maria Ricci Editore
  • L'uomo di Pskov (1977), CEPIM (Sergio Bonelli Editore), in colour
  • L'uomo di Harlem (1979), CEPIM (Sergio Bonelli Editore)
  • La calata di Macsimiliano XXXVI (1984), Editori del Grifo
  • Conte Dracula (1987), Rizzoli-Milano Libri, from the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Dr.Jekyll e Mr.Hide (1987), Rizzoli-Milano Libri, from the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Giro di vite (1989), Olympia Press, from the novel The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
  • Nessuno (1990), Milano Libri
  • Le clinicommedie (1990), Editiemme
  • Il processo di Franz Kafka (1999), Piemme, from the novel The Trial by Franz Kafka
  • Justine and The Story of O (2000), graphic novel of the works by Marquis de Sade and Anne Desclos respectively
  • Frankenstein (2002), Grifo Edizioni, from the novel by Mary Shelley

[edit] English translations

English language translations of Guido Crepax works have been published in many different formats: sequences in magazines, soft cover albums and high profile hardcovers.

[edit] Stories published in Heavy Metal Magazine

Heavy Metal Magazine was among the first to introduce Guido Crepax to the English-speaking audience. In addition to publishing Crepax comics it also issued interviews and articles about the artist.

Original title and publishing date English title Date HMM Issue
Riflesso di Valentina (1979) Valentina: Reflection 1980-12 Vol. 4 No. 9
1981-1 Vol. 4 No. 10
1981-5 Vol. 5 No. 2
1981-6 Vol. 5 No. 3
L'uomo di Harlem (1979), CEPIM (Sergio Bonelli Editore) The Man From Harlem 1983-1 Vol. 6 No. 10
1983-2 Vol. 6 No. 11
1983-3 Vol. 6 No. 12
1983-4 Vol. 7 No. 1
1983-5 Vol. 7 No. 2
1983-6 Vol. 7 No. 3
Valentina pirata (1980), Milano Libri Valentina The Pirate 1983-11 Vol. 7 No. 8
1983-12 Vol. 7 No. 9
1984-1 Vol. 7 No. 10
1984-2 Vol. 7 No. 11
1984-3 Vol. 7 No. 12
1984-4 Vol. 8 No. 1
Hello, Anita! - (1980) L'isola trovata Hello, Anita! 1985 Bride of Heavy Metal
 ???, 1988 Valentina Rediscovered: Far From Berlin 1988, Fall Vol. 12 No. 3
 ??? Persona 1992-5 Vol. 12 No. 3

[edit] References


  1. ^ Claudio e Gabriele lo stesso respiro - La Repubblica, 04 agosto 2008.
  2. ^ Cartoni Online. "Valentina" (in Italian). 

[edit] External links

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