Ever since Violet Blue wrote about it a little while back, I have been eagerly awaiting the appearance of Dave McKean‘s new erotic graphic novel Celluoid from Fantagraphic Books.

Celluloid is an essay in pure visual storytelling — something that is quite difficult, or at least so my own experiments with it suggest to me — but which McKean pulls off with great ability and confidence. The story is very simple: a woman comes home from work and finds that her partner will not be home as he is working late. She undresses, bathes, and then finds a projector and a bit of film. Out of curiosity she threads the film and runs the projector and finds projected a stunning erotic dreamworld which she then…steps into.

I am almost loathe to produce an image from the book because to do so seems somehow an injustice or a misrepresentation because McKean shifts fluidly among so many different artistic techniques and styles in this book. But I’m utterly beguiled by it and want you to be too, so here is one, right at what I take to be a critical moment in the story’s plot.

hands in the projector

Astonishing. It’s a pricey book, I fear, but something not-to-be-missed by those who either want exceptional artistic erotica, and those who enjoy seeing the comics medium show its true power.