Closeout Price! Highly Recommended. Foreword by C. Spike Trotman. Afterword by Colleen Doran. A talented young actress becomes fatally ensnared in London’s mysterious and glittery drug culture of the early 20th century. A classic and obscure story by the famous creator of Fu Manchu, adapted into a short graphic novel in Eclipse Magazine back in 1981, and out of print ever since. Includes a fascinating, highly illustrated Afterword by Doran and a long background essay by Jon Cooke, “Sex, Drugs and The Yellow Peril,” that puts this all in context, including a look at the “Devil Doctor in the Comics.” Nudity and adult themes. IDW, 2017. Mature Readers.
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A talented young actress becomes fatally ensnared in London’s mysterious and glittery drug culture of the early 20th century. A classic and obscure story by the famous creator of Fu Manchu, adapted into a short graphic novel in Eclipse Magazine back in 1981, and out of print ever since. Includes a fascinating, highly illustrated Afterword by Doran and Jon Cooke, “Sex, Drugs and The Yellow Peril,” that puts this all in context, including a look at the “Devil Doctor in the Comics.” Nudity and adult themes.
Trotman puts it very well in her introduction: “You can just imagine who Sax Rohmer was writing for, can’t you? Fantastical stories of crime and vice, casually libelous of London’s Chinatown community at every turn; lavish and breathless descriptions of opium use, and the fall from grace of elegant young women, helpless to correct themselves and go home to husbands…I mean, Mrs. Sin? Really? Trina has reproduced Dope here, for good or ill, without exaggeration or compromise.”
Although denied early-on by Rohmer, his novel was inspired by a real-life downfall of the young actress Billie Carlton, in 1918. Billie was beautiful and addicted to lavish spending, taking up with profligate older men. But she was seduced by the high life, first trying out opium in London’s notorious Limehouse District. Then she got hooked on cocaine. A box of it was next to her bed the morning she died, after a wild day of acting, dancing, parties and all-night wildness that might have done in even the most stout fellow. It was a huge story at the time, much like the death of Marilyn Monroe, resulting in jail time for her dealers and her sugar-daddy. Rohmer took it and added in his own racist attitude towards both Chinese and Jews, and we have a sensational, lurid story of the times.
“I think Dope is some of my finest work,” says Trina Robbins.Through her work as an advocate and historian, she has become a positive force of education and enlightenment in the contemporary comics landscape. But she is also a brilliant storyteller and illustrator (even though she has been unable to draw for several years now), and her body of work is as diverse as it is prolific.
She began as an active member of science fiction fandom in the 1950s, creating illustrations for science fiction fanzines. In 1969, Robbins designed the costume for Vampirella for Warren Publishing. Around this time, Robbins left New York for San Francisco, and spent the 1970s becoming an early and influential participant (and one of the few female artists) in what was then the fledgling underground comix movement.
During the early 80s, Robbins created comic book adaptations of Tanith Lee’s The Silver Metal Lover, and Sax Rohmer’s Dope. She then went on to become the first woman to draw a Wonder Woman comic book for DC Comics. In addition to her comics work, Robbins is the author of several important non-fiction books on the history of women in comics. She has won an Inkpot Award and was only the fourth woman ever to be inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame.
Foreword by Harvey Award nominee C. Spike Trotman and a major, fully illustrated afterword and separate essays by Eisner Award winning creator of A Distant Soil, Colleen Doran, and Comic Book Creator editor Jon B. Cooke. Plus a profile and wonderful photo of Trina Robbins.
This was a Kickstarter project and availability may be limited. Also available in a signed edition which is already out of print.
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