Putting porn plots to paper has got to rank high in the list of daft ideas no one’s tried before. It Could Happen to You, the first comic book release by Mapp on Eurotica, sticks to the familiar cliché premises of the adult video canon: sex in the office, slutty cops, bored housewives, you’ve seen it all before. They’re not any better on the page than they are on your screen.
If anything, they’re worse. You can fast-forward an adult video to skip the mind-numbing plot sequences, and when you get to the sex, you can generally expect the performers to shut up (even if only to grunt, moan and wheeze mechanically). Mapp’s six stories, never breaking the ten-page mark, need to pack the action tightly, which means you get the tacky dialogue during the sex. “I’m a woman in need. Your duty as a police officer is to help me, isn’t it?” “What a pair of cocks! This must be my lucky day.” I’m glad it is someone’s.
Mapp’s trace might be of interest to manga fans. The influence is evident in his motion lines, shrinking irises and other staples of the Japanese comic book language. With repetitive angles and bare backgrounds, though, the panels soon begin to look the same. Add to it the mandatory shaved crotches and the result is as arousing as the writing.
Another former contributor of the sadly extinct Kiss Comix, Mapp (AKA Martín Díaz) is ample evidence of how irregular the celebrated Spanish magazine’s output could be. Flat and predictable, It Could Happen to You (or It Could Happen to You Vol. 1 – the title depends on which page you’re on) is also poorly edited. There is no preface, no author bio, and nothing to tell you whether the material is new or reprinted, save for a copyright notice from the original Spanish publisher and a four-line blurb on the back cover. Hardly a high point in American graphic novel publisher NBM’s record.
However you look at it, the book is a waste, amounting to no more than dead space on any comic book shelf. Don’t be fooled by the insinuating, well-coloured cover, faintly reminiscent of Adam Hughes’s finest pin-up poses: the actual stories literally pale in comparison. To the unfortunate owners already thus misled, our sympathies. It could happen to anyone.
It Could Happen to You by Mapp; NBM/Eurotica; ISBN 978-1-56163-607-5; £8.99.