Milo Manara’s Gullivera is for all intents and purposes an erotic Gulliver’s Travels. That is the fastest and easiest way to tell you what the story is about, while explaining nothing of why this work is good. To begin with, it’s Milo Manara which in this day and age, for some damn reason, means something different from what it should. Thanks to his Marvel Comics variants, the man whose work used to speak for itself is now forever remembered for a variant cover and a select group that feels that censoring artwork is okay. Before all that, he was a master of erotic comics and just a master illustrator. He still is, it’s just that he has all that excess baggage attached now.
Now I’ll address a few complaints that I can see others having with Manara’s style. A lot of his women look the same. For the most part they have the same face, one of a few select hair style,s and definitely the same appendages in other departments as well. I can see that as someone who looks at a lot of art and would normally complain about that in any other comic. Why Manara gets away with it is that he’s such a strong visual storyteller that he’s able to suck you into the world easily. Sure he has the help of erotic content to help distract you, but even putting that aside, there’s so much detail going on in the book that if you’re really that bothered by the similarities in his work, then you’re perhaps reading it for the wrong reasons. You're looking for something to hate, rather than enjoy.
His art style is wonderful. Not just because of the erotic element either. Yes, that is great and I will fully admit that he produces some of the most amazing looking women I’ve ever seen illustrated, but, again, it’s the rest of the world that he creates. Because the erotic part is hollow and cheap without all the details that make the world look real. Without Manara’s skills as a storyteller and his detail as an artist, something like “erotic Gulliver’s Travels” would just be cheap porn. And this is anything but.
The story follows about the same pacing as Gulliver’s Travels, at least from what my memory serves. A great deal of the story is spent with her as a giant, then small and so on and so forth. There are little twists to each element of the story, but overall it’s a quick read. Even with the erotic element to it, there’s a sense of lighthearted joy to the story. Unlike in Gulliver’s Travels you’re never fearful for Gullivera’s life or concerned if she’ll get home. Instead, it’s just a quick romp done only the way Manara can.
If you’ve already read this story, then you’re not going to find anything new here. You will find something wonderful to add to your collection and if you’re a first time reader then you’ll get a taste of what makes Manara’s work memorable and frankly, great.
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Milo Manara’s Gullivera Creator: Milo Manara Publisher: Humanoids Price: $24.95 Format: Oversized Deluxe Edition; Print/Digital