Milo Manara: Master of the Art of Sensuality

Milo Manara, a name synonymous with the art of erotic graphic novels, stands as a towering figure in the world of contemporary illustration. Born Maurillo Manara in 1945 in Italy, he has carved out a reputation as one of the most talented, provocative, and internationally acclaimed graphic novel artists. This blog post explores the artistic journey of Milo Manara, delving into his distinctive style, notable works, and the impact he has had on the graphic novel industry.

The Evolution of an Artist

Manara’s journey into the world of art began in his early years, influenced by the works of great comic book artists and painters. He started his professional career in the 1960s, initially illustrating fumetti, a style of Italian comics. However, it was in the 1970s that Manara found his true calling in the world of erotic graphic novels. His ability to blend sensuality with art quickly set him apart in an industry that was still exploring the boundaries of such themes.

Signature Style and Themes

Manara is renowned for his ability to portray the female form with remarkable beauty and sensuality. His work is characterized by its detailed, clean lines and an almost ethereal quality to his characters. While he has been celebrated for this talent, he has also faced criticism for the overtly erotic nature of his work and the portrayal of women in his narratives. Despite this, Manara’s work remains influential, noted for its artistic merit and narrative depth.

Notable Works and Collaborations

Among Manara’s extensive portfolio, certain works stand out for their artistic impact:

  1. “Click” Series: Perhaps his most famous work, “Click” is a series that explores themes of sexuality and desire, pushing the boundaries of erotic storytelling.
  2. “The Adventures of Giuseppe Bergman:” This series marked Manara’s foray into more introspective and existential themes, showcasing his versatility as an artist.
  3. Collaboration with Federico Fellini: Manara’s collaboration with the legendary filmmaker Federico Fellini on “Trip to Tulum” and “The Voyage of G. Mastorna” is a testament to his standing in the artistic community.

In recent years, Manara has also collaborated with Marvel Comics, bringing his unique style to the covers of various iconic characters, a move that

brought his work to a broader audience and demonstrated his versatility in adapting to different genres and styles.

Artistic Influence and Legacy

Manara’s influence extends beyond the realm of erotic graphic novels. He has played a pivotal role in elevating the art form, showcasing how graphic novels can be a platform for sophisticated storytelling and artistic expression. His work has inspired a generation of artists and illustrators who seek to infuse their art with a blend of realism and fantasy, emotion, and sensuality.

Despite the controversies surrounding his portrayal of women, Manara’s legacy in the world of graphic art is undeniable. He has opened doors for discussions about sexuality and censorship in art, challenging societal norms and pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable in mainstream graphic storytelling.

The Ongoing Journey

Milo Manara continues to create and inspire, with his art evolving alongside his personal artistic journey. His recent works show a more reflective side, often touching on current social and political issues, showcasing his growth and adaptability as an artist.


Milo Manara, renowned for his distinctive and sensual style of art, has a prolific body of work that has captivated fans worldwide. For enthusiasts of his art, certain comic books stand out as essential pieces in any collection. Here are five comic books that every Milo Manara fan should consider owning:

  1. “Click!” (1983)
    • Perhaps Manara’s most famous work, “Click!” is a series known for its exploration of sexuality and desire. The story revolves around a device that can enhance and manipulate a person’s libido, leading to various erotic escapades. Its blend of humor, eroticism, and Manara’s signature art style makes it a quintessential piece in his repertoire.
  2. “The Adventures of Giuseppe Bergman” (1978)
    • This series marks a departure from Manara’s purely erotic work, delving into more introspective and existential themes. The protagonist, Giuseppe Bergman, embarks on surreal adventures that are both a parody of and a tribute to adventure storytelling. It’s a testament to Manara’s storytelling abilities and artistic versatility.
  3. “Indian Summer” (1986) and “El Gaucho” (1991)
    • Both of these works are collaborations with celebrated writer Hugo Pratt. “Indian Summer” and “El Gaucho” delve into historical narratives, with the former exploring the colonial period in America and the latter set in 19th-century Argentina. These stories showcase Manara’s ability to vividly portray different historical periods and landscapes.
  4. “The Golden Ass” (1999)
    • This graphic novel is an adaptation of the classical Roman novel “Metamorphoses” by Apuleius. Manara brings to life the tale of Lucius, who is transformed into a donkey, with his characteristic sensuality and humor. It’s a unique blend of classical literature and modern graphic storytelling.
  5. “Gulliveriana” (1996)
    • In this reinterpretation of Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels,” Manara’s protagonist, a female version of Gulliver, experiences erotic adventures in the lands she visits. The artwork is stunning, and the narrative takes a playful and sensual twist on the classic story.

These works not only highlight Manara’s skill as an illustrator but also demonstrate his range as a storyteller. From erotic and playful to introspective and historical, Manara’s comics offer a diverse exploration of human experiences, all rendered in his exquisite and unmistakable art style. Owning these books provides a comprehensive look into the talent and artistic evolution of one of the most unique and provocative illustrators in the world of graphic novels.


Milo Manara’s career is a fascinating exploration of sensuality, creativity, and artistic mastery. His contributions to the graphic novel industry have been immense, and his work continues to be a source of both admiration and debate. As an artist, Manara has not only captured the beauty and complexity

of human desire but has also elevated the graphic novel to a form of art that can express profound and often controversial themes. His legacy is one of daring creativity and the relentless pursuit of artistic expression, making him a true maestro in the world of graphic art. Whether celebrated or critiqued, Manara’s work undeniably holds a significant place in the history of graphic storytelling, captivating and challenging audiences with its bold and sensual portrayal of the human experience.

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