Querida, a collaboration between Jan van Rijn and the Spanish writer and filmmaker Carlos Atanes, is an illustrated narrative about a puppeteer who constructs a female puppet which he forces to act out erotic scenes. She is shaped in the likeness of his true love, a cousin who died too young. An exceptional piece of work, her limbs and eyes are masterpieces, crowned by locks made from the actual hair of the dead cousin. The puppet wakes to conscious and sensuality, and discovers that certain circumstances enable her to let her doll’s body come to life for limited periods of time. Soon she finds herself on a colourful and at times dangerous journey, leaving her naïve innocence and weakness behind, struggling for autonomy and self-determination. Ultimately her contempt for the hated puppeteer leads to a murderous showdown.
As well as the main text by Atanes, there are also text contributions by Madison Young, Xóchil Schülz, Annemarie Ryders, Hector Domaine and Carmine d’Acquaro. The van Rijn illustrations alternate between monochrome and vivid scarlet and black, another bold new experiment in erotic illustration.
Querida is published by Kraut and Rubies Publishing, in a limited numbered edition of 55 copies; more information and a YouTube introduction to the book can be found on the Kraut and Rubies website here.