Friday, March 20, 2020

Coupla graphic novels

Recently I read two very different graphic novels, which I'm combining into one post.

Swimsuit by Rachel Ang (2018)

In this quiet story, a young woman named Jenny meets up with a former love interest at a local pool. They have some awkward conversation, go swimming for a bit, then sit next to the pool. They witness a traumatic event happen to another person, at which her ex says, "This sort of thing seems to always happen when we're together." Then they part ways, Jenny goes home, and is sad.

It's a very moody story, made more so by the blue-on-pale-yellow drawings on every page. Jenny is clearly self-conscious in her bathing suit, especially as her ex shows her photos of his new girlfriend. Watching someone come close to death does not lighten the mood. It was all very uncomfortable, yet relatable.

Mostly told through sparse conversation and simple but emotional drawings, it was very understated yet powerful.

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang (2018)

My coworkers have been raving about this one for a while! It's about a prince whose parents are trying to find a wife for him, and the dressmaker he hires to make dresses for him. He has a whole secret life where he dresses as a very fashionable woman and he needs to keep it a secret. Frances is happy for the opportunity to work for a prince and her work is really getting noticed - but she has to stay out of the spotlight because people know she works for Prince Sebastian and they can't know that this fashionable woman wearing such amazing creations is also Sebastian.

This story is very sweet and I love how their friendship bloomed and how Frances accepted Sebastian for who he is without question. The art was colorful and dramatic and everything about it was so much fun.

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