What’s up with me? I have no less than 6 blog posts started, but none finished. Help! When a bad case of startitis strikes, do I need antibiotics, or is it too late for a cure? I’ve decided to counter-attack with the easiest book on my “finished” pile: a girly graphic novel.
Eloise, this novel’s main character, is a young Parisian woman who suddenly finds herself on a bench without any idea of who she is. Her memory is totally blank: she can’t tell her name, where she lives, who she is, where she works. The book is her search for her past, her identity, a kind of chick-lit thriller firmly set in Paris.
Or perhaps should I say an existentialist graphic novel? The book talks a lot of anonymous life in a big city, also the solitude of a twenty-something with few friends, no family, nothing but a cat and a flat. Women who try to define themselves by brand names and consumerism, but end up having really nothing special. An anti-Sex and the City, if you want.
Eloise is a blank page, an ordinary single young woman who has nothing special but for her very developed imagination. It makes up for some visual jokes, but also a melancholy tone that’s not what I expected from Bagieu.
Pénélope Bagieu is actually a very familiar designer in France, her main subject is sassy, sexy, goofy… and typically Parisian girls. She’s been chosen by a lot of big French brand names for clothes, make-up, food, whatever. Her fresh and clear designs with cursive handwriting are close in my mind to those by Margaux Motin, except that Bagieu’s girls are more softspoken (Motin’s 30-something girls use loads of F-words and often deal with motherhood dilemnas).
Boulet is the scenarist of this book that goes deeper than its first, superficial appearance.