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02

Oct

evanpalmercomics:

Part 1 of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Ainulindalë. 

Read part 2.

30

Sep

joylesseuphoria:

『25 Lives』 by Tongari ()

(Source: ryannxp)

bluestocking-books:

Today I will be sharing with you a discovery I made on my trip to Switzerland this summer. Kerascoet & Hubert were completely unknown to me before I stumbled upon their latest, brilliant work in the comic book store I make a point of visiting whenever I go to Yverdon-Les-Bains.

Beaute (“Beauty” in French) is the story of Morue, a young outcast with unfortunate looks. She has bulging eyes, ears that stick out, limp hair, and smells strongly of fish. Her life as an indentured servant is bleak. She dreams of finding love and acceptance, but is the butt of joke after joke in her little village.

When her tears release Mab, the faerie queen, from her enchantment, the sarcastic Mab grants her the illusion of beauty—-and not just any beauty, but Beauty as only the faeries can bestow, the beauty for which men lose all self-control. Worse still, every attempt Morue makes to reject their advances is seen as seductive; her anger, fear, and despair is relentlessly sexualized.

This also means that Morue becomes hated by the women in her village, who are unable to mar the faerie’s gift in order to win their husbands back:

This is more than Morue bargains for, and matters are further complicated when, with Mab’s ever present urging, Morue finds herself married to the king.

Over the course of three books, Morue must face the consequences of her naivetee and immaturity, which because of her great beauty become weapons of mass destruction as armies go to war for her and the jealousies of her lovers become homicidal. Her beauty quickly becomes a curse, and she must discover the secret to Mab’s power.  

Beaute is honestly the best fairytale I have read in a long time. It succeeds where so many have failed here in America. From a story-telling perspective, the characters are beautifully flawed and it is hard to put the book down. I found myself alternately laughing hysterically and fighting back tears. One thing I especially love about Kerascoet’s characters is their expressions—-and this can be said about many french comics——he is not afraid to distort and charicaturize his female characters’ faces as they move through a full range of expressions.

I was under the impression that after Morue received the faerie glamour we would only see her as her “beautiful” self, but Kerascoet reserves that side of her mostly for when we are gazing at her from a male perspective. In these panels, Morue says little and is usually a passive object—-the rest of the time, Morue is active and chatty, and obviously has an inner life. Her immaturity is wonderfully contrasted by her sister in law, a big-nosed spinster who manages her brother’s kingdom and ends up finding love on the battlefield as a lady-knight: 

I wish I’d had these comics as a young girl. So little fantasy, and so few comics, portray women as complicated characters with story-lines independent of the men in their life. There is so much for girls to relate to in Morue—-I don’t know any women who haven’t felt ashamed of their bodies and looks at least at some point in their lives, who haven’t felt the desire to fit in and fit an impossible standard of beauty that society tells us is the only measure of our worth. What girl hasn’t come to the realization that "beauty" and all that comes with it is fucking complicated and scary?  What teenage girl doesn’t come to the realization that her beauty and sexuality can be used against her? What girl hasn’t heard some form of victim blaming, when men and boys believe their desires are not their own responsibility?  The men in Beaute may seem like they are under a spell, but I think Kerascoet & Hubert make it clear that they are just entitled and telling themselves what they want to hear—-the same way rapists do in real life

It’s a highly stylized, exaggerated, mythical and fairy-tale version of the male-dominated, sexually hostile world girls wake up to, and I think watching Morue navigate it at great peril to herself and her loved ones is cathartic for the reader to follow. Modern parents may want to wait before buying these books for their children; there are some seriously dark, upsetting themes (rape, murder, suicide, torture) but Kerascoet raises questions about desire that certainly teenagers must grapple with, and I think encouraging a child to read these comics critically, with an eye for what’s there between the lines, could be a very empowering experience. 

These are glorious hard-bound full color Bande Dessinee. They’re big and beautiful like all BD should be, but Kerascoet’s art is breath-taking cover to cover. After reading Beaute I have a new standard for how color should look in comics. Every page leaves me in awe.  

I HOPE an English translation comes out soon. Maybe some of my comics friends can talk to their publishers about this, but they are worth buying for the art alone, and if you have any interest in learning french, reading french comics are an excellent way to do so. 

The best option I have found so far for buying BDs is BDnet, and here is the link to buying all three Beaute books.  If anyone needs advice on navigating their french-language checkout process, you are more than welcome to ask me. If anyone has a better resource I’d love to hear from you. 

 

10

Jul

beatonna:

Here is a bigger version of my Best American cover!   You’ll be seeing it pop up again in October when the book comes out.

Plus check out her web comic: Hark! A Vagrant. It is amazing. 

beatonna:

Here is a bigger version of my Best American cover!   You’ll be seeing it pop up again in October when the book comes out.

Plus check out her web comic: Hark! A Vagrant. It is amazing. 

03

Apr

part2of3:

Locke & Key
inside Zack Wells head 
art by Gabriel Rodriguez

part2of3:

Locke & Key

inside Zack Wells head 

art by Gabriel Rodriguez

30

Jun

"The Walking Dead Book 1: A Continuing Story of Survival Horror" by Robert Kirkman.
“The Walking Dead” is a must read for any zombie fan who ever wondered what happened after the credits rolled.  The only thing missing from the zombie genre for years was a long format story and this series, filled with all of the action packed fight sequences and nerve-wracking escapes from the undead hordes any fans of the genre could want, is bloody horror at its best.

"The Walking Dead Book 1: A Continuing Story of Survival Horror" by Robert Kirkman.

“The Walking Dead” is a must read for any zombie fan who ever wondered what happened after the credits rolled.  The only thing missing from the zombie genre for years was a long format story and this series, filled with all of the action packed fight sequences and nerve-wracking escapes from the undead hordes any fans of the genre could want, is bloody horror at its best.

“Dante’s Divine Comedy" adapted by Seymour Chwast.
Chwast explores Dante’s inferno, purgatory, and paradise using the text of the well known epic as its inspiration. The illustrator’s signature quirky style, contrast wonderfully with the horrific tortures of the damned, but, fair warning, this book is extremely abridged and could be a bit confusing to any readers who are not already passably familiar with Dante’s work.

Dante’s Divine Comedy" adapted by Seymour Chwast.

Chwast explores Dante’s inferno, purgatory, and paradise using the text of the well known epic as its inspiration. The illustrator’s signature quirky style, contrast wonderfully with the horrific tortures of the damned, but, fair warning, this book is extremely abridged and could be a bit confusing to any readers who are not already passably familiar with Dante’s work.


"Freakangels" written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Paul Duffield.
“23 years ago, twelve strange children were born in England at exactly the same moment.
6 years ago, the world ended.
This is the story of what happened next.”
Half of England has been underwater for the past six years. One of the only safe havens left is the Whitechapel district in London, where the Freakangels live.
Warren Ellis is a master of the foul-mouthed British twenty-something and Duffield’s lush illustrations only sweeten the deal, seamlessly blending the steampunk atmosphere with the science fiction storyline.

"Freakangels" written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Paul Duffield.

“23 years ago, twelve strange children were born in England at exactly the same moment.

6 years ago, the world ended.

This is the story of what happened next.”

Half of England has been underwater for the past six years. One of the only safe havens left is the Whitechapel district in London, where the Freakangels live.

Warren Ellis is a master of the foul-mouthed British twenty-something and Duffield’s lush illustrations only sweeten the deal, seamlessly blending the steampunk atmosphere with the science fiction storyline.

“Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" written by Phillip K. Dick and illustrated by Tony Parker

A true acid trip of a novel, “Androids” was used as the basis for the sci-fi classic film “Blade Runner,” but the author’s fans always complained that Ridley Scott’s futuristic San Francisco was too different from Phillip K Dick’s.  This fantastic adaptation uses Tony Parker’s surreal illustrations to truly enhance the work, leading the reader along Rick Deckard’s hunt for the six rogue androids in this twisted vision of humanity’s future.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" written by Phillip K. Dick and illustrated by Tony Parker

A true acid trip of a novel, “Androids” was used as the basis for the sci-fi classic film “Blade Runner,” but the author’s fans always complained that Ridley Scott’s futuristic San Francisco was too different from Phillip K Dick’s.  This fantastic adaptation uses Tony Parker’s surreal illustrations to truly enhance the work, leading the reader along Rick Deckard’s hunt for the six rogue androids in this twisted vision of humanity’s future.

"Same Difference" by Derek Kirk Kim.
 Kim’s story and images work together beautifully and the emotional punch of this story is subtle, sweet, funny, and sad all at once.  Check out this award winning graphic novel and follow Simon and Nancy around as they experience their quarter-life crisis.

"Same Difference" by Derek Kirk Kim.

 Kim’s story and images work together beautifully and the emotional punch of this story is subtle, sweet, funny, and sad all at once.  Check out this award winning graphic novel and follow Simon and Nancy around as they experience their quarter-life crisis.