Crepax, Guido

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. 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. Crepax is best known for his surreal-erotic comic book ValentinaIn 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.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 Denmark, France, Brazil, Spain, Germany, Japan, United States, Finland and Greece.(Copyright: Wikipedia)