By Hunter T. Patrick
Such a lovely message. Elisabeth is a woman who just lost her breast and hair after fighting a disease. She begins to be shunned by society, and even worse her significant other. He tries, he really does for her, but he cannot get over her having a single breast. She begins to have everyone turn against her and all values of beauty cause her to spiral worse and worse into loneliness and despair in society. Yep. Sounds pretty depressing. But as with all great tragedies, there should be a little hope. This plays into hope. The metaphors are strong, and the social commentary is stronger. This is a book that unashamedly plays into femininity and beauty, it is all the stronger for not being afraid to put it all into its art.
What sets this TPB apart from others is the sheer lack of dialogue. The only lines spoken are words very briefly spoken and in musical verse. After mini-vignettes, brief lines are also states on black background highlighting importance. The mini vignettes are what makes up the story and they can last only a few pages to multiple. With zero to minimal lines of dialogue, this makes reading quickly go by. With no dialogue, it also highlights the art even more. Stripped of nothing but art, the story takes an interesting perspective. It is mostly easy to follow with one instance being a bit tricky, but others may still find it easy. The story is what matters more so than writing. It shows, never tells.
This story relies on the artwork due to lack of dialogue. The pressure for art is higher than most pieces as a result. The inevitable questioned poised is how is the art. It is okay. It is a bit cartoonish and over exaggerates certain things in a joking manner. It toys with the audience in a lighthearted tone. It overpowers and takes things away from the story as a result. It is what makes the story its own, but also in doing so in such a large way at times, it has the story decline. As inconsistent as that might be, the heavy story never tends to get too dark, making it all the more fascinating the approach when it can balance it correctly. The coloring is superb with the mixture of colors. The too lightness might put one off the art, but one should still admire it when it gets a chance to shine.
This story is such a delight. It is what is needed for this time and to give hope for people in similar situations. The themes are timeless, and the book is so close to being timeless as well, though of course, one can never tell until much time has passed. The biggest thing stopping it is not when it is light, as it is throughout, but when it gets in over itself. If you are on the fence, ask yourself if you want to see a bunch of breasts and a thought-provoking story. If you want something fun and requires no reading, this is also a great choice. Do not read this if you cannot handle the human body, as natural as the book makes it is.
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