The Story of Sex

Philippe Brenot and Laetitia Coryn, trans. from the French by Will McMorran. Black Dog & Leventhal, $27.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-316-47222-7
Sexologist and psychiatrist Brenot partners with comics artist Coryn for a literally graphic history of sexuality, love, and gender politics that plays far too loosely with the truth. Coryn’s simple and evocative cartooning recalls Larry Gonick’s Cartoon History series, and her lively style invites the reader to more readily absorb Brenot’s academic yet passionate verbosity. Brenot’s narrative framework, in which fictionalized events are introduced alongside real history to explain the evolution of human cultures, is hindered by a number of missteps; not least of these is the lack of a bibliography and the spreading of suspect apocrypha, and his insertion of original characters into historical events is baffling as well. Brenot spares time to mention the myth of Hermaphroditus, he ignores the presence of transgender people in history, offering only a brief definition of gender identity (and one shockingly inaccurate statistic about it) at the very end. Although Coryn’s work is undeniably entertaining, Brenot’s strange fumbles considerably reduce the merit of the book. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 11/20/2017
Release date: 09/01/2017
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-0-316-47225-8
Hardcover - 208 pages - 978-1-84614-932-0
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