Literary Influences in Takaya Miou’s Work: The Punk Fiction of Dennis Cooper

Dennis Cooper (b. 1953) is an American novelist best known for The George Miles Cycle, a series of five novels written between 1986 and 2000 that portrays characters who delve into a tumultuous lifestyle of drug use, sexual adventure, brutal violence, and other forms of extreme behavior. In the second novel, Frisk (1991), a young boy named Dennis is psychologically traumatized when he discovers photographs of a grisly murder. Years later, consumed by homicidal urges of his own, he travels to Europe, begins a killing spree, and dissects his victims to discover what “secrets” the human body may contain.

Takaya admires Cooper’s publications, which she refers to as “gay punk murder novels,” for their bold consideration of transgressive subjects. In her own art, she likewise strives to explore such extreme topics as sexuality and violence within the limits of what she considers to be “good taste.”

Ribs of the Sky: Cooper’s Bad Boys (1997) is Takaya’s illustrated adaptation of Cooper’s Frisk. Her story involves three characters: a male protagonist (assuming the role of “Dennis” in the novel Frisk ), a stranger who he has seduced, and the specter of a former lover.

In the tradition of Japanese manga, the images to the left are intended to be viewed from upper right to lower left.