Sunday, July 25, 2010


Jane Fonda as BarbarellaWriter/Artist: Jean-Claude Forest
Published: 1966
Publisher: Grove Press

Barbarella. She's the free spirited sexual space sphinx. In the comic she...well I'd have to take notes on her adventures. The story is all over the place. She battles air sharks, guards made entirely of leather, Orhomrs who telepathically can toss rocks, an evil one eyed queen, a bizzaro Medusa, genetically mutated beasts, futuristic 19th century spoiled sisters, killer toy robots, birds and snakes. She loses her clothes (or discards them) in all sorts of manner. She and another girl sex a guard into uselessness. She sleeps with a robot. At one point she is imprisoned in the Excessive Machine, which is designed to pleasure her to death. She befriends a guy who is half angel, half stud. And so it goes. Oh the 60's.

Barbarella is a silly comic. Lighthearted and silly. As for the nudity and sexual encounters, they're quaint compared to today's standards. During it's time, I'm sure it was considered shocking to some. I guess, in it's own way, it would be shocking. Barbarella is an independent, capable, young woman. She enjoys sex and isn't afraid to seek it out. She speaks her mind. She's optimistic, hopeful, and a determined fighter for just causes. Maybe back then that was more shocking than her actual nudity.

I should also mention the issue is broken into chapters punctuated by four colour tones: purple, yellow, green, and blue. This creates a nice pop-art quality to the drawings.

Images of Barbarella from comic

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