Title: The Countess in Red
Author: Leopold von Sacher Masoch (J. M. Lo Duca adaptation)
Artist: George Pichard
Release date: 1985
Publishing house: Martins Fontes (Brazil)
This comics is based on the story of the Countess Elizabeth Bathory, a woman that really existed in the 16th century and became known for bathe in the blood of young virgins. In addition to this “peculiar” practice, there are historical records that she used to torture her maidservants. It is estimated that she was responsible for the death of approximately 600 girls. In this comic book, George Pichard brought this tale to life, mixing a soft eroticism with a bit of terror.
Although the story is short (twenty minutes is enough to read all the pages), this work is worthy of reading and a great introduction for those who know nothing (or a little bit) of erotic comics.
Art: 9/10. A realistic style, filled with hatches and pointillism. A great exemple of art that may be appreciated and used as reference for studies. It exemplifies in a perfect way the concept of “less is more”. The only thing that bothered me was the pain expression of some characters in some scenes. They were a little static, without emotion. The torture scenes were well detailed, but they aren’t intense, so don’t worry about gore stuff.
There are no sex scenes, just mild insinuations (but very well done, they don’t spoil the story).
Screenplay: 7/10. The storyline is totally direct. The dialogues are short, but they portray very well the essence of each character (the countess’ bisexuality, for example). There was no emphasis on sex scenes or torture, much less in the Countess’ psychological. I particularly found this very bad,
it wasn’t clear to me if the purpose was to show briefly about the countess’ cruelty or to incite the reader’s imagination.
Story: 8/10. The story is short, which reflects in its total lack of depth. When you think things will heat up, the story comes to the end. In my opinion, erotic comics must instigate the reader, play with his curiosity while inducing him to wanna know more and more about the conclusion of the story. The end was very abrupt, left a little taste of something incomplete. :/