Preview: Sky Doll returns courtesy of Titan Publishing

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Thanks to Titan Comics I’ll be able to get my hands on a series I’ve had a keen interest in reading for a few years now, Sky Doll, an Italian comic book series created by Alessandro Barbucci and Barbara Canepa and first published in 2000. The series centres around Noa, a ‘doll’ built to resemble a young girl and made to serve the state who starts to suspect she has a much grander purpose beyond the pleasures and demands of her human masters.Through it’s colourful and futuristic sci-fi setting the comic explores the themes of religion, sexual repression and the media. Originally released by French publisher Soliel since and a dozen other companies around Europe, in 2008 a deal was struck between the French company and Marvel to release the series in English language.

Even knowing the barest details of the book and a few pieces of artwork online it’s still always struck me as being really incongruous with the rest of Marvels releases, even the releases in it’s adult imprints. It was only later that I found out that Sky Doll is originally an Italian Comic that Marvel republished. Even so it’s still a really weird fit and seems oddly out of place with it’s emphasis on sex and religion. I’ve seen trades (usually Spaceship) of it a few times in discount book stores but being me, have always forgotten to follow it up and look around for the preceding volumes. No matter anyway, I’m glad I didn’t as the fourth volume has frustratingly never been published in English anyway, up until now. The new edition coming in January will be the first time the whole series has been collected in English as Marvel only ever published the first three volumes. The new, complete edition is being released through Titan comics, the majority of the companies output being licensed titles including the newest Doctor Who comics.

From the little I’ve seen I’m digging the aesthetic of the series with the seams and joins drawn on Noa, the bright neon hues and vibrant, almost animated film feel it has to it. Like a Disney film, but you know, with adult themes and imagery. As well as the inclusion of a lot of characters with animal features (the Scrope I’m told) means this going to be a must buy for me when it comes out on Jaunary 20th.

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The action is set in a fictitious parallel universe, in which the papacies of Agape (representing spiritual love) and Lodovica (Ludovica, or Ludowika, depending on the language, and representing sexual love) fall into a conflict, resulting in the banishment of Agape and the creation of a dystopia in which both spiritual and sexual freedoms have been perverted. With Agape’s followers labelled as heretics, Lodovica rules the galaxy through extensive control of the mass media, using “miracles” to impress the fanatical populace. The main character is Noa, a so-called Sky Doll: a lifelike android without rights, resembling a young female, who exists only to serve the state’s desires.

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