Milo Manara  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Milo Manara, byname of Maurilio Manara (born September 12, 1945 in Luson, South Tyrol) is an Italian graphic novel writer and artist, best known for his erotic approach to the medium.

Contents

Style

Manara's style favors clean lines for women reserving more complex drawings for monsters or other supernatural elements. Like with his compatriots Tinto Brass and Leone Frollo, there is an emphasis on the portrayal of the female buttocks. Many of his comics feature themes of bondage, domination and humiliation, voyeurism, the supernatural, and the sexual tension beneath various aspects of Italian society. The works vary in their explicitness, but the general mood is playful rather than misogynistic. Manara's skill in creating atmosphere, his obvious talent, and his occasional excursions into more "mainstream" stories, have helped to give him an air of artistic respectability.

Biography

After architecture and painting studies, he made his comics debut in 1969 drawing for Genius, a Fumetti neri series of pocket books from publisher Furio Vanio in the wake of the popularity of Kriminal and Satanik. In 1970 he illustrated for the magazine Terror, and starting in 1971 drew the erotic series Template:Lang written by Francisco Rubino, issued in small format by publisher Erregi. Joining the youth magazine Template:Lang, he worked with Rubino, Carlo Barbieri, Mino Milani and Silverio Pisú. With Pisú Manara launched the publications Telerompo and Strategia della Tensione in 1974 and the series Alessio, Il Borghese Rivoluzionario, and with writer Mino Milani the series La parola ai giura in 1975. Manara and Pisú later went on to publish Lo Scimmiotto (The Ape) along the story of the Chinese Monkey King in Alter Linus in 1976, and with Alfredo Castelli, L'Uomo delle Nevi (The Snowman) in 1978.

During this period Manara began publishing work in several Franco-Belgian comics magazines including Charlie Mensuel, Pilote and L'Écho des savanes. For (A SUIVRE) Manara created the first stories featuring HP and Giuseppe Bergman, which grew to become a large body of work. The character "HP" is based on Manara's friend, the Italian comics creator Hugo Pratt, and a collaborator on some of Manara's most acclaimed work, initially Template:Lang (1983, Indian Summer) and later El Gaucho (1991). Manara also completed two stories working with another of his heroes, Federico Fellini.

Manara's reputation for producing comics that revolve around elegant, beautiful women caught up in unlikely and fantastical erotic scenarios became solidified with work such as Template:Lang (1983, also known as Click or Le Déclic), about a device which renders women helplessly aroused, Template:Lang (1986, Butterscotch), introducing the heroine Miele (Honey) and a sweet-smelling body-paint which makes the wearer invisible, and Candid camera (1988, Hidden Camera) featuring the same protagonist in further explicit adventures. In the following years of combining sequels, original work and collaborations with noted creators, Manara's production continued in this direction to explore erotic comics themes with an artistic and storytelling expression in a manner considered unique to Manara.

In the U.S. The Ape was serialised in Heavy Metal in the early 1980s and Manara received some exposure through collaborations with Neil Gaiman and other artists. Curiously, Manara does not enjoy the popularity in his native Italy that exists in France, where he is considered one of the most important comics creators in the world.

Style

Manara's style favors clean lines for women reserving more complex drawings for monsters or other supernatural elements. As with his compatriots Tinto Brass and Leone Frollo, there is an emphasis on the portrayal of the female buttocks. Many of his comics feature themes of bondage, domination and humiliation (though not so hardcore or graphic as by Erich von Gotha), voyeurism, the supernatural, and the sexual tension beneath various aspects of Italian society. The works vary in their explicitness, but the general mood is playful rather than misogynistic. Manara's skill in creating atmosphere, his obvious talent, and his occasional excursions into more "mainstream" stories, have helped to give him an air of artistic respectability.

Later work

In connection with their joint project Quarantasei, in July 2006, Manara designed a helmet for Moto GP rider Valentino Rossi, specifically made for the Italian GP in Mugello. Rossi declared:

"He has drawn some kind of a mythical history of my life, in cartoons, with some of my heroes such as Steve McQueen, Enzo Ferrari, Jim Morrison, and other characters such as my dog Guido, the chicken Osvaldo and a lot of beautiful women! I really like Milo...he's a person that I have admired for a long time."

In October 2006, Manara developed character designs for the animated television series City Hunters. The series, of ten 11 minute episodes, blends traditional animation techniques with modern CGI, to be broadcast across all of Latin America on the FOX network throughout 2006 and 2007.

Manara is slated to pencil an X-Men project written by Chris Claremont for Marvel Comics.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Milo Manara" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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