Chambre 121 (Room 121) is by far Olaf Boccère’s best-known work, extending to more than 300 pages of graphic narrative. Chambre 121 was created between 2000 to 2003, and is based on Boccère’s own experiences working in a hotel in Lyon. The main character of the series, the hotel receptionist, together with the hotel manager, offers a more ‘personal service’ in the room with the number 121. The room was originally going to be number 69, which happens to be the postal number for Lyon, but that was considered too obvious. Each short story contains six comic pages, four of which are always devoted to explicit sex.
In creating Chambre 121, Boccère experimented with different image processing filters. He enhanced the presence of the pages with graded grey areas, with integrated patterns for clothing and walls, as well as effects such as blurring and soft backgrounds from movie techniques. The post-processing of the drawings on the computer was further intensified in order to improve the quality of the individual comic pages.
As Boccère explains, ‘The charm of the series is created by the cliché-free, humorous approach to the theme. My characters are not stereotypes, but grounded, living people, with all their mistakes and complexes, their desires and longings. In the course of the series I created a wide range of erotic themes: sex with pregnant or inexperienced women, fetishes, light bondage games, even a few nuns appreciate the service in Room 121. In a few stories the action becomes more extreme; but always playful and light-hearted, never violent or repulsive.’
Chambre 121 was originally published story by story in Kiss Comix, then brought together in six volumes by Dynamite, and finally by Dynamite in a complete edition containing all forty episodes, together with three additional Chambre 121 stories and six related narratives.
A good-quality online English-language pirate edition of Chambre 121, Room 121, can be found here, of which we have included the first four stories. We have also included the covers of the individual Dynamite volumes, together with a handful of Olaf Boccère’s original sketches for the series.