Review: The World of Gloria Badcock

Artist(s): Maurice Vellekoop.

It’s been three years since the last Maurice Vellekoop book, and that was a collection of illustrations. In fact, it’s been almost a decade and a half since his last comic book work, the collection Vellevision (more about this artist and his work at my fan site). So, you can imagine how happy I am to see one of my favorite artists giving us The World of Gloria Badcock1, 24 pages of erotic and humorous stories featuring the bad/good girl he’d introduced in Vellevision.

The morning after

The title character is a magazine editrix who’s very fond of sex and has all sorts of adventures with men from various periods and places. Gloria’s sexcapades are also the most gay-inclusive erotic stories I’ve seen since Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie’s Lost Girls. Her best friend is Doctor Cornelius, a scientist whose sidekick/lover is a hunky, brainy Swede named Sven. Perfect combination, I’d say. Cornelius shows her his new time-traveling machine…and who could resist the idea of meeting hunky guys from other times? They find themselves in Paris, France at the end of the 18th century, with Gloria meeting a horny aristocrat. Fortunately for Cornelius, the aristocrat’s servants are definitely into guys. Thus follows an elegantly-drawn orgy with something for (almost) everyone.
I write “elegantly” because Vellekoop seems incapable of drawing otherwise. Even when he draws the most explicit sex scenes, his art retains a certain quality that prevents the reader from feeling like a mere voyeur. His characters are always given a lot of dignity, and the sex scenes are obviously drawn with the more open-minded readers in mind (or maybe Vellekoop simply draws for himself).

As in his other erotic work, Vellekoop shows his sense of humor here, for example with Cornelius’s time machine running on coleslaw (which I guess is easier to whip up than Dilithium crystals). The preposterousness of the situations nicely complements the unabashed and explicit sex scenes, giving a kind of dream-like substance to the stories. That aspect is even more present in two other short stories, which show Gloria meeting a female genie and having it off with her (told you there was something for everyone), and a nightmare putting her in the midst of a porn version of the Wizard of Oz (there’s also a fun Frankenstein riff involving Cornelius and Sven). The rest of the comic is filled with illustrations and fake ads, such as one for “Super-Dello Home Delivery, North America’s Finest Chain of Male Brothels”. I’ll let you imagine the kind of illustrations Vellekoop provides for that one.

I hope Maurice Vellekoop won’t wait another decade before he gives us more comics of this caliber. He obviously had fun drawing it, and I certainly had fun reading it. What more could you ask for?

  1. You can buy this comic from the publisher, Koyama Press.

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