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Steven Appleby



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Fans of Steven Appleby’s brilliant cartoons know already of their unique energy; what Posy Simmonds calls his “nimble, nubbly line” seems almost to vibrate at times. All the same, his first long-form graphic novel, Dragman, will surely bring him massed armies of new admirers. Funny, sweet and emotionally true, it doesn’t so much tiptoe on to fraught cultural territory as dance wildly across it. In this sense, at least, it has the added virtue of being at once both wildly transgressive and powerfully reassuring. Dragman tells the story of August Crimp, a husband and father whose transvestism, when the book begins, is a long-held secret. August discovered his passion for wearing women’s clothes as a teenager when he found a stocking down the back of a sofa and instinctively pulled it on, his nerve endings tingling excitingly as he did so. But that wasn’t all he discovered. Moments later, his head collided unexpectedly with a ceiling. Dressed as a man, you see, August is just an ordinary bloke. Dressed as a woman, however, he is Dragman, a superhero whose sequined frock allows him to fly through the sky like some glamorous, jet-powered mannequin. August is about to come out of superhero retirement. The long and short of it is that he and his old sidekick Dog Girl – her superpower is, you guessed it, her sense of smell – are going to have to save the world. Along the way, he must also save his marriage; his wife, Mary-Mary, having recently discovered his dress collection in a box in the attic, is furious at having been lied to. Both tasks necessarily involve his coming to terms with his transvestism, something that, it’s probably important to say, his creator also once went through (in a lovely postscript, Appleby, also a husband and father, reveals that though he is content still to be called Steven, he has also been living full-time as a transwoman since 2007). It’s a journey that is sometimes fraught and sometimes joyful; it’s also one that involves quite a lot of jumping from high buildings and whizzing across streets and valleys at great speed.

  • language : FR
  • pages : 338 p.
  • format : 24.2 x 17 x 3.5
  • impression : Offset
  • binding : Hardcover
  • publishers : Denoel
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