MY MOST SECRET DESIRE reviewed in Sequential Tart

“My Most Secret Desire” / Sequential Tart / Kim De Vries / April 1, 2007

In this collection of short, fantastical, and perverse stories, Doucet shares dreams she had from the late 80s to mid 90s. Many involve what things might be like if she had a penis or was a man — not the same thing, I might add!

Doucet seems to spend a lot of time thinking about having a penis, either because she wakes up and is one, has an operation, or (in one of the more disturbing dreams) is given one by her European pen-pal. These were all interesting and while some also made me cringe, others had me laughing, especially the story in which Doucet contends that if she had a penis, it would be useful. — She would store things in it, use it as a vase, etc.!

Her style will be familiar to fans of her work; frenetic quivery lines, claustrophobic crowded panels, and high-contrast black and white "coloring". Most interesting to me was the disturbing nature of these personal visions. Doucet shares a lengthy dream of being pregnant with a child that comes out and goes back in several times while she is bathing, is born premature with a tail, is actually a cat, or explodes out of her abdomen. I can't help but wonder what this means, what Doucet thinks of motherhood, whether she is one or not.

Because these stories are presented as real recurring dreams, we have to assume they are important and meaningful, but most are quite dark, some are violent, and the last ends with what seems to be Doucet's welcome demise. Since the jacket says she's now concentrating on "post-comics" work, I have to wonder if we should read this as a requiem for her work in comics.

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