Does Manara get an easy ride?
I think of Manara as a guy who started out aiming to push comics into new places. I think his Bergman books are amazing, and do some things in comics I have yet to see anywhere else. I think in that sense he really earned his spot. I think he earned the respect of Pratt and Fellini by doing great work. annnd then I guess he just got more attention from drawing his sexy lady art than pushing the storytelling.
I feel like in some ways Manara is like a less dramatic version of Shirow in that (in my opinion) he went farther than most cartoonists ever get to but then fell intro a pit lined with his own sharpened boners. It’s pretty disappointing to see the guy who did The paper man and worked with Felini go on to draw X-women or a sexy lady version of Gulliver’s travels. and I don’t mean that in any disparaging way to porn comics. but even good porn has to push for new ways to tell stories. I dunno— he always draws well but Its hard to think of him the way I used to when i see him drawing sexy lady posters for Marvel. That’s not even real porn that’s like half porn— “ain’t no such thing as halfway crooks.” I’d love to see him push it more, do some work that no one expects from him. at this point if he did a whole book with no sexy lady or even a different type of woman it would look like a serious move.
I think I hold these guys to these standards because I feel like I’m in danger of falling into some of those same traps. I fear getting comfortable and Turning into an old man whose major output is erotic images of women who I could have grandfathered. —ooof!
Man I have been checking out a bunch of Manara lately and Brandon pretty much nails my feelings on his work here. His non-porn stuff is AMAZING, his porn is beautifully drawn, but ultimately kinda boring. And this is coming from a lady who likes being spanked.
Also ‘a pit lined with his own sharpened boners’ is the best way to describe this particular kind of career path, ever, and I am going to remember that one.