Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Crepax, Guido

(1933-2003) Italian artist with a fine black line style, famous for his erotic Comic strips and a series of Graphic-Novel adaptations of erotic and sadomasochist literature. In 1959 GC began a long association with the medical journal Tempo Medico, producing covers, cartoons and illustrations.

His first comic strip, for Linus in 1965, was Neutron, a somewhat idiosyncratic creation concerning Philip Rembrandt, an artist with supernatural powers, and his clothes-fetishist photographer girlfriend, Valentina, after whom the strip was renamed in 1967. The late 1960s saw GC producing a wide variety of strips, including the sadomasochistic La Casa Matta ["The Madhouse"] (1969). He was to become famous for creating sexy victimized heroines (though this victimization is more in their own minds than in Reality), like Anita (1973), Bianca (1972) and Belinda (1972). Valentina, too, falls into this category; she remains the character with whom GC is most closely identified.

GC's stories are told in stream-of-consciousness sequences of events, dreams and imaginings, often self-indulgently erotic, with elements of the surreal and Kafkaesque. The narrative takes place on several levels at once, consecutive frames being often fragmented and interspersed with clusters of images of lips, eyes, nipples, navels and pudenda, along with lettered representations of sounds, resulting in a completely subjective narrative. Although a number of these pieces have been published in English they have not until recently been widely available. The exceptions are two Valentina stories serialized in Heavy Metal in the early 1980s: Valentina – Reflections (intermittently December 1980-June 1981) and Valentina the Pirate (November 1983-April 1984). In the 1990s NBM have published Valentina #1 (graph 1994), #2: Magic Lantern (graph 1994) and an expanding list of GC's further work.

GC's graphic-novel adaptations of classics include The Story of O (graph 1975; trans 1978 US) by Pauline Reage, Emmanuelle (graph 1978; trans 1980 US) by Emmanuelle Arsan, Justine (graph 1980; trans 1981 US) and Venus in Furs (graph 1984; trans 1993 US) both by the Marquis de Sade, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (graph 1984; trans 1994 US) by Robert Louis Stevenson and Dracula (1988) by Bram Stoker – this last was published in the Italian magazine Corto Maltese. GC created the character Becky Lee (1988) for the Italian magazine Comic Art and the adolescent Francesca (1992) for Lupo Alberto Magazine. He drew two volumes in the Editoriale Cepim series Un Uomo un'Avventura ["A Man, An Adventure"]: L'Uomo di Pskov ["The Man of Pskov"] (graph 1977) and L'Uomo di Harlem (graph 1979; trans as The Man of Harlem in Heavy Metal January-June 1983; graph 1989 US). [RT]

Guido Crepax


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.