Library Journal Calls BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS Striking

“A Graphic Novel on Nelson Mandela; Moench on Batman; Vehlmann & Kerascoët | Xpress Reviews” / Library Journal / Emilia Packard / May 28, 2014

Beautiful Darkness opens on an adorable, doe-eyed elfin girl flirting with an equally darling elfin boy, a sure sign that we’re in for a sweet little love story in miniature. But things start to go wrong almost immediately, and just a few pages in a rainstorm reveals that these creatures are effectively living on, in, and around the decaying body of a little girl lost in the woods. It’s horrifying and eerie but also extremely well executed. The juxtaposition between the pixyish cast and the harsh realities of nature, in which they live alongside, and sometimes in bloody conflict with, mice, bugs, birds, and flies, is striking. In addition, a slightly sociopathic tale of romantic and political intrigue is woven through the story and builds slowly to a satisfying and shudder-worthy conclusion. The story and setting are just a bit Brothers Grimm–like in their melding of human and sylvan darkness, and the soft, soothing tones of husband-and-wife team Kerascoët’s (Miss Don’t Touch Me) watercolors make the mood that much more uneasy and sinister.
Verdict A subtly scary watercolor wonderland that explores the darkness of human nature,Beautiful Darkness at once celebrates and transcends the conventions of both the graphic novel and fairy-tale media.

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