Milo Manara is a legendary Italian comic book artist and illustrator, with a reputation for erotics. He writes and draws graphic novels, but is best known for his portrayal of the female form. Much loved and admired, his work gained notoriety in the US when he was commissioned by Marvel Comics for covers and to draw X-Women comic books written by Chris Claremont. He also drew the Desire chapter of Neil Gaiman's best-selling Endless graphic anthology. He recently gained much praise for his Caravaggio graphic novels.
But these last few weeks, living in lockdown in Italy, Manara has taken a very different attitude to posting images of women. Rather than the usual coquettishly-posed, bare-fleshed examples of male gaze, he has discovered a different appreciation of the female form in these troubled times. Posting his work to Facebook, he talks about his appreciation of doctors and nurses, ambulance drivers, cleaners, shop assistants, police, delivery workers and more. In terms of content matter, it is still recognisably his work, but it has a different focus. Here are some examples of what he has been drawing. We look forward to seeing more.
After architecture and painting studies, Manara made his comics debut in 1969 drawing for Genius, a series of pocket-books from publisher Furio Vanio. Manara's reputation for producing comics that revolve around elegant women caught up in unlikely and fantastical erotic scenarios such as Click in 1983, Butterscotch in 1986, and Hidden Camera in 1988. He gained greater literary appreciation after his similarly-themed gender-flipped adaptation of Gulliver's Travels. which led to his most recent historical graphic novels. He recently saw much of his work exhibited in Parisienne galleries.