There are comics in which the story is basically ill relevant and the art is the most important thing in the book. In a way the story is just there to produce more art and that’s kind of the case for Route Des Maisons Rouges. The story is pretty ridiculous and the character interactions are even sillier at times. The gist is that the Mayor of the town wants to shut down all of the… sex houses, in favor of… I don’t know a stadium or some shit being built. It’s not really a stadium, but it was almost four issues ago that I read what it was that the "rich scary business man" was trying to build and frankly for the time period its set in makes little sense to shut down the sex houses. Actually on second thought I have no idea what the time period is since there is a mixture of 19th and 21st century technology in the story. You can tell that a man wrote this book since there are five or six sex houses competing to stay open as the Mayor will close down the house that makes the least amount of money. There’s a bunch of other side crap happening, but again the story is just there. It’s entertaining for a bit, but it never grabs you or does anything that you would remember (case in point, I’ve read all the issues and retained very little from the story). Another fact that shows this book is by a man and basically for a man is that all of the women are lesbians and yet they’re only customers are men. I’m not even sure what level of sexist that is because these woman are basically "involved" with each other, but are forced to pleasure men for their job. At any rate as risqué as the story sounds it never shows any of the sex and really never comes outright and says it either, but the content and some of the other things they talk about are very mature.
The real treat is the art. Now granted it’s a bunch of sex workers dressed in clothing of pubescent boys dreams, but the art is fantastic and very beautiful. The colorist alone should be given a lot of credit as he makes the book look like a cartoon and very alive at the same time. Giuseppe Boccia does a fantastic job with the lighting and effects with the color and really makes artist Livia Pastore’s art shine. The art is so good that again the story doesn’t matter. I would literally just buy this book to look at it and frankly a lot of the times that’s exactly what it feels like I’m doing. Now I’m not sure about the art process, because while digging around on GG Studios site I found pictures of clay models. I’m not sure if they use the models for possess or make the models for 3D modeling that they then put on the page, but whatever they do works. Now they just need someone who can tell a story.
The reason I’m bringing attention to this book is that even as bad as the story is, it’s a book that is very different and a story that would never be told by an American company (GG Studios is from Italy). Because of that I think people should give the book a look for at least the art and who knows, maybe the story will grab you in a way that it didn’t for me. Maybe it’ll remind you of buying your first swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated and you’ll just smile at the silliness of the issue. Now a few online stores listed this book as only six issues long and they’re wrong because if it ends with this issue then there is no resolution to the story what-so-ever. The series hasn't sold very well here state side so you should be able to pick them up on most online retailers or back issue bins of your LCS. Pick it up and let me know what you think.
Score: 2/5 (but I could easily give it a 5 for the art alone)