BooksHorrorIllustration

Sex And Horror 1: The Art Of Emanuele Taglietti (book review).

Mark Alfrey’s introduction to the first volume of “Sex And Horror” highlights the uniqueness of Italian comic books compared to those from other countries. While these Italian creators were advised to reduce the display of nudity by superimposing underwear onto the characters, horror and nudity remained intertwined in their horror/detective comic books. It’s worth noting that in Italy, these aren’t referred to as “comic books” but as “fumetti.” This term literally translates to “small puffs of smoke,” referencing the speech balloons.

This backdrop sets the stage for examining the work of Emanuele Taglietti (1943- ). His creations are not explicitly about sex, but they combine nudity and occasional elements of torture involving both genders. This portrayal somewhat mirrors what can be seen in British works and, to a lesser extent, American ones. However, the foreign material often approaches the subject with more subtlety. Taglietti’s artwork showcases fewer suggestive poses. Instead, women often appear terrified or are depicted committing horrific acts.

Sex And Horror 1: The Art Of Emanuele Taglietti
© Korero Press 2015

Taglietti, like many of his Italian contemporaries, was primarily a cover artist. He rarely contributed to the interior pages. Working prolifically, he sometimes produced up to a dozen covers a month during the 1970s and 1980s. Some of these covers can be described as “torturous,” and even Taglietti has acknowledged that some artists regret their association with such creations. It’s essential to understand that publishers will often push boundaries to maximize sales. However, whether such decisions are received as intended is up for debate. For instance, showing a character’s moment of distress might prompt readers to anticipate a rescue. Still, the portrayal’s efficacy in conveying this varies. Selecting the right moment in a scene, such as the lead-up to a punch or its aftermath, can be more impactful than the punch itself. Likewise, the mere threat of harm can be more unsettling than its actual occurrence.

Sex And Horror 1: The Art Of Emanuele Taglietti
© Korero Press 2015

An intriguing observation from this book is the retention of cover artists for extended comic book runs. This ensures consistency in the portrayal of characters, even when these depictions are inspired by real-life actors.

Sex And Horror 1: The Art Of Emanuele Taglietti
© Korero Press 2015

Taglietti’s artwork, beautifully rendered in oil, is reproduced with such fidelity in this volume that readers can trace his brush strokes. He often sought photographic references, particularly when replicating the likeness of actors. Given the intricacy of some poses and the detailing of hands, it’s probable that he employed live models at times. At first glance, Taglietti’s color palette may seem vibrant, but a closer look reveals a balanced use of darker tones, which are often overshadowed by the brighter elements in the foreground.

Sex And Horror 1: The Art Of Emanuele Taglietti
© Korero Press 2015

Publisher Korero has carved out a unique space in the artbook domain with volumes like this, exposing international audiences to these distinctive works. While I initially wondered if there would be significant demand for such content, the fact that some titles in this series have gone into second printings suggests a strong market interest. High-quality printing on premium paper further enhances the appeal of these art books.

GF Willmetts

August 2023

(pub: Korero Press, 2015. 160 page illustrated large softcover. Price: £22.99 (UK), $36.95 (US), $49.95(CAN). ISBN: 978-0-9576649-4-4)

check out website: www.koreropress.com

UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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