If you like good comics, you like Dave McKean. (I'm partial to his work on Mr. Punch, but you at least know him from his work on the covers of Sandman.) But I must admit I wasn't in too much of a hurry to read his new comic book Celluloid: An Erotic Graphic Novel. That's probably because I don't associate McKean's work with sexiness. (In fact, I think you could make a valid case that comics in general aren't very good at being sexy, with the work of Paul Pope and Laurenn McCubbin as notable exceptions.) His stuff is mysterious, sure, and it's suggestive, but it's never been particularly, you know, hot.

But Celluloid is the sexiest comic I've read in ages. It's a simple story: A woman comes home, starts watching a movie, and gets sucked into different levels of reality (each portrayed in a different style by McKean—black-and-white ink, charcoal sketches, photography) having sexual adventures along the way. It works as a sexy book because McKean is inventive and clever and he's obviously having fun. There's not the feeling of work-for-hire roteness that makes most erotica such a bore to read ("and then this position and then that position and then..."). It's a beautiful, brash work that deserves to sit on the same shelf as McKean's other work. All of which is a long way of saying it's good.