Lanterna Magica (The Magic Lantern) is unique among Crepax’s output for having no text at all. We know that the main character is Valentina (in the original English-language series published by Eurotica it has the subtitle Valentina 2), with her distinctive black bob and demure demeanour, the very essence of Milanese sophistication. It is also made clear that below the surface burns a passionate young woman eager to inhabit another world, a world where she can explore her dark attraction to that which most frightens her.

Beyond that, the wordless pages in which she encounters giant typewriters and motorbikes, space pilots and bears, leaves the ‘reader’ to make up their own interpretations to run alongside Valentina’s, which is probably precisely what Crepax intended. In Lanterna Magica Crepax takes us deep into the heart of his erotic, fetishistic fantasies, where physical gratification comes in every shape and size and absolutely anything goes.

The version presented here (as if it matters) is the Italian edition, published by Belrose. An 'English-language' edition, with an afterword by Gillo Dorfles, is published by Headline.