Available again for the first time since 2015, Beauty is an exemplar of French comics. Kerascoet's art, with Hubert's perfect colors, is simple and expressive, broken up by gorgeous, sweeping landscapes that still maintain that same elegance. Best of all is their approach to the enchanted protagonist, sometimes portrayed as the Aphrodite others see, and more often (quite humorously) as the petulant gremlin she is. Hubert's script is by turns amusing and deeply upsetting -- continually absorbing. Beauty's not saying anything new about the titular theme, per se, but it's said so well that it has the resonance of a classic fairy tale.
Content warnings: domestic violence, sexual assault, imprisonment
Now in paperback! When the repulsively ugly Coddie unintentionally saves a fairy from a spell, she does not understand the poisonous nature of the wish granted her by the fairy. The village folk no longer see her as repulsive and stinking of fish—they now perceive her as magnetically beautiful—which does not help her in her village. A young local lord saves her, but it soon becomes apparent that Coddie's destiny may be far greater than anyone ever imagined. Caustic and flamboyant, this fairy tale offers grownups an engrossing take on the nature and corrupting power of beauty, in our age of obsession with it.
Praise for Beauty
“Featured recommendation” —Unshelved
“This cautionary tale by the French writer Hubert is illustrated by Kerascoet, a husband and wife team of French cartoonists. They employ a style reminiscent of Japanese woodblocks and other art from that country’s rich illustrative tradition. This retro style is perfectly suited to a fairy tale– nothing modern would have worked as well – while the Asian influence lends an exotic, timeless touch to Western eyes." —Andrew ‘Capt. Comics’ Smith, Tribune News Service
"Takes the fairy-tale trope and removes from it all the cheesecake Disneyness, giving the cautionary tale back its edge and teeth. This engrossing, subtly feminist story will have adult readers wanting to examine the underbelly of other traditional fairy stories. The combination of simple yet expressive figures against lush, painterly backgrounds is an exquisite example of European comic making." —Eva Volin, Booklist
"Kerascoet’s work on this book is a spectacle of comics achievement I’m betting I will not see again for a long time. It’s the kind of work, that makes me wonder how a human mind can even think in these forms, let alone have the power to display them. I’m envious beyond imagining." —Coverless Reviews
"Epic." —Comic Book Resources
"Highly Recommended." —Midwest Book Review
"Satiric, flamboyant fairy tale. Recommended for older teens and adults looking for out-of-the-way fantasy." —Library Journal
"Beautifully illustrated with Kerascoët's magical, dreamy, richly coloured art, Beauty is set to be one of 2014's comic highlights." —Publishers Weekly
"Smart, charmingly cynical and hugely engaging, (an) epic cautionary tale." —Comics Review
"Coodie does live a life that was changed by one wish. One wish can change everything."—First Comics News