The author of Persepolis is getting a fairy tale of hers released in the US. How does it match up with her previous work? Pretty well.
Persepolis was one of the better autobiographies I’ve seen, and the animated film that came from it was great. Marjane Satrapi is one of the more interesting writer/artists to appear in the last decade, and it’s nice to see another one of her works get translated and released outside of France (this time by the good folks at Archaia Press). This one seems to be following Archaia’s trend of exploring what is a graphic novel.
The story follows Rose, the kindly youngest daughter of a merchant. When her father fails to bring her the gift she wanted from his travels, she sighs. Surprisingly, she ends up summoning Ah the Sigh, a strange creature who delivers her gift. In exchange, her father promises to repay him in anyway. A year later, Ah returns to take Rose to his people’s kingdom. What follows is a tale of love and searching that I refuse to spoil for everyone.
Right off the bat, I’m struck by the similarities to the classic fairy tale books I used to read as a child. That isn’t to say that it’s not for adults, just that I really doubt anyone could say “Don’t show this to your kids”. And in keeping with what I said about exploring what makes a graphic novel, it just shows that the term doesn’t mean it needs just to have panels and word balloons to tell an interesting story. Another thing that strikes me is how Satrapi avoids placing a location or culture for the story. The only named characters are the three daughters (all of whom have names from flowers) and Ah, whose name is just a sound effect, which means that it doesn’t run the risk of being a story of “insert this group name” people. You could just as easily imagine this tale as about European as you could about Middle Easterners. I like that little touch, and it’s becoming a trademark of Satrapi to give this sense of relating to the story regardless of where you’re from.
The art is pretty good, and has Satrapi’s typical style of child-like wonder while also being really detailed. And I’d hate to compare to Persepolis again, but it is interesting to see her art in full color.
I really enjoyed this book. It may not be as poignant as her most well-known work, but it shows that Satrapi is capable of branching out and telling a wide variety of stories.
|Well written, nice art, and a truly nice story that is easy to relate to regardless of where you're from.||If the only reason you read this is because you want more like Persepolis, you may be disappointed.|