Body Mu­sic

Foreword Reviews - - Spotlight Reviews Comics & Graphic Novels -

Julie Maroh, David Homel (Trans­la­tor) Ar­se­nal Pulp Press (NOVEM­BER) Soft­cover $26.95 (300pp) 978-1-55152-692-8

Across a va­ri­ety of set­tings and char­ac­ters, French author Maroh turns her eye to love—phys­i­cal and emo­tional. The sen­sual side of love is well rep­re­sented, ex­plic­itly (though not gra­tu­itously) and in nearly ev­ery man­i­fes­ta­tion imag­in­able.

De­scribed as a full-color book, Body Mu­sic uses a soft, muted, lim­ited pal­ette; in many ways it’s closer to a black-and-white of­fer­ing. But Maroh’s lines, and the way she uses color se­lec­tively, ef­fec­tively evoke mood and emo­tion through­out.

Most of Maroh’s char­ac­ters are un­cer­tain and fear­ful of com­mit­ment, and the over­ar­ch­ing mes­sage that love comes in many forms some­times su­per­sedes the char­ac­ter­i­za­tion. But Maroh shows what all these peo­ple are seek­ing, in a mov­ing vi­gnette in which a woman and her son clean out the apart­ment of her son’s re­cently de­ceased fa­ther. The woman muses, sadly: We weren’t just in love, we were good friends. We had twenty good years to­gether. The scene demon­strates the power of a com­plete, full love, even one that has since been bro­ken; per­haps it’s this par­a­digm of pow­er­ful, but not nec­es­sar­ily per­ma­nent, love that Maroh wishes to il­lus­trate. The scene that fol­lows, fea­tur­ing two chil­dren who feel a deep con­nec­tion to each other de­spite un­cer­tainty about gen­der iden­tity and the fu­ture in gen­eral, is also ex­em­plary.

Mov­ing and modern, Body Mu­sic is a trib­ute to the abil­ity of hu­mans to care deeply for one an­other.

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