The World of Gloria Badcock
by Maurice Vellekoop
Koyama Press, 2011
The World of Gloria Badcock is a glorious world indeed. The first story in this slim but intriguing comic-strip collection, “Gloria Badcock Travels Back In Time,” features manservants, time travel, revolutions, and a healthy dose of sexual escapades. Gloria and her friend Doctor Cornelius, after some trial and error, end up piloting Cornelius’s coleslaw-powered time machine to 18th century France, where they get to wear powered wigs and have athletic and graphic sex with the locals. Other stories include “Gloria Badcock’s Worst Nightmare” (spoiler alert: it’s not having an orgasm during a sexy dream), and “A Date With Gloria Badcock,” a well-heeled romp with a sexy androgynous genie. All in a day’s work for Ms. Badcock.
While Gloria wears fashionable gowns and uses words like “droll” and “marvellous,” and her world is stuffed with rich, elegant men and women, everyone is always up for a little hanky-panky. Her pals Dr. Cornelius and Sven represent the upper-crust queers, and Gloria herself is an equal opportunity lover, bouncing from male to female partners without batting a mascara’ed eyelash. Lest you think safe sex isn’t a Badcockian concern, a one-page parody advertisement depicts her as the editrix of Parade magazine, instructing her readers to use a condom: “Tell him to put one on or be gone!’”
Vellekoop’s drawings are evocative of Archie comic’s resident glamourpuss Katy Keene, who was always elegant, well-dressed and as prim and proper as a model can be. Thankfully, Vellekoop also throws in some classic Tijuana Bible-type imagery: the sex scenes are hilariously dirty, but cleanly drawn, and Vellekoop clearly likes combining the glamour of Old Hollywood with more modern XXX-comic tropes.
For example, there’s a great section at the back of the book that showcases “Supra-Dello Home Delivery,” a gallery of modern men – the UPS delivery guy! Mormons! a Greenpeace canvasser! — displaying themselves like they might in the adult classified section of your free local paper. The spread also harkens back to the porn of the 1970s and 1980s, when the pizza delivery guy was delivering more than just hot cheese.
Vellekoop, who has produced work for Vogue, Toronto Life, GQ, and Wallpaper, hasn’t released a book since 2007′s A Nut At the Opera. His style is cartoonish and curvy: the men all have super-angular jawlines, and the women have the most delicate ankles imaginable. My only quibble is that I wish the volume was bigger (it’s a scant 24 pages), and while Vellekoop’s other work has been produced in lush colour, the stories are presented here in black and white. Gloria’s world is such a fun and happening place to be that it’s a shame we don’t get to see more of it.
Still, The World of Gloria Badcock is such a fun and funny collision of elegance and smuttiness that it practically demands to be picked up and leafed through; it’s also a cheeky deconstruction of gender binaries, and queer-friendly to boot. Hopefully Vellekoop will flesh out his fleshy fantasies in a second volume of sexy scandals and erotic adventures; until then, this book is a quick, pervy and elegant peek into Gloria Badcock’s very good world.