SQP presents the first volume of the art of Brazilian artist Al Rio who has worked for Marvel, DC, and Image among many others. Al Rio has a sensuous, powerful, and yet playful style and he can very from finely detailed pen & ink illustrations to slyly comical works where you have to pay attention to everything going on in the background. This volume presents a rather eclectic sampling of the artist's work from rough pencil sketches to finished pen & ink illustrations.
A major theme throughout the book is jungle women or cave women, some in the midst of battle with giant reptiles or apes, and some where they are simply lying demurely, frolicking with other jungle life. While modern, it reminds me of the great art on the 30's and 40's jungle pulps as Al Rio does a great job conveying the action and movements in his works. Besides the jungle themes, you'll find themes of horror, fantasy, bondage, angels, rockers, lesbians, and gun-blazing action. His Lara Croft pieces are particularly outstanding. Al Rio's art is very crisp with clean lines and amazing detail, particularly in his backdrops.
The back cover sports a beautiful nude medusa in full color, smiling as she holds a skull, while her serpents writhe about. In an outstanding piece called "Fuzzy Muffin" a lovely blonde seductress leans against her bed, holding a stuffed animal in a `strategic' location over her body. "Ice Cream Dream" is an almost Mad Magazine-like scene with two very buxom women walking their dogs while the cartoon like men gawk in the background at the pair of beauties. There are many pieces that harkens back to the classic pin-up days of the 40's and 50's such as the one depicting a sexy, topless artist, hard at work and thy shy, pony-tailed girl looking back over her right shoulder.
The collection features both nude and non-nudes in a truly mesmerizing collection of gorgeous women. Al Rio is an artist supremely talented and capable of working in any form or genre but his beautiful women are certainly the highlight of his work and a must have for anyone who is a fan of erotic or pin-up style art.