Review by Frank Plowright
How quickly streaming technology progressed is given a marker by www, created by Milo Manara in 1998. He wrote and drew the strip in the days when live streaming involved images only, which would update every 20 seconds. Short-haired blonde Wendy and long dark-haired Wilma share a house paid for by their sponsor who in return has cameras set up throughout the premises, to which people can log on. The girls are initially reluctant to give the punters what they want, but the threat of eviction livens them up. Just as Wilma comes to terms with her attraction to Wendy, Wendy’s red- haired sister Wanda shows up, so completing the trio referred to in the title’s double meaning.
Wanda is fleeing a relationship that she suddenly feels has become abusive, despite willing participation in games of control and exhibitionism with Vlad for a considerable period beforehand. All of these are illustrated with relish by Manara, who then progresses to the trio’s new found performance enthusiasm. It surely won’t surprise anyone that Vlad shows up, and the only real plot element apart from the sex makes clever use of the situation’s limitations.
Discounting Wanda’s recollections and the final three pages, the entire graphic novel is situated in the flat, and that’s to the detriment of the art. Manara certainly doesn’t let anyone down with regard to the high quantity of naked women he draws, but the decorative background elements found in most of his other erotica are entirely absent. Still, it’s not as if anyone will be buying www for the background art.
It can also be found in the third volume of Manara: Erotica where there’s a more intuitive translation, but for some the downside will be that it’s presented in black and white instead of colour as in this edition.