VINCENT is an inviting look at Vincent Van Gogh, the epitome of the tortured artist. In this new graphic novel by Dutch illustrator Barbara Stok, we have a new look at this icon. Published by SelfMadeHero, as part of their exciting new Art Masters series, we find in these 144 pages another way to appreciate Van Gogh’s life and art and even get some clarity regarding the myth surrounding Van Gogh. The most infamous moment during his life is, of course, the cutting off of part of his ear. Popular belief has it as his strange way of proving his love for a local woman. However, we find here that is not the case.
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Do you like to keep up with comics from France? Do you enjoy lighthearted wit and a decidedly chic perspective on everyday life? Then you’ll want to check out this collection of comics by Margaux Motin, “But I Really Wanted to be an Anthropolist…” Translated by Edward Gauvin, this often raucous, always hilarious, book loses nothing in translation. Margaux is a girl who likes to have fun. She has a passion for music, fashion and partying and zero tolerance for body hair beyond her neatly kept tresses. She claims to harbor a desire to be an anthropologist but the closest she has come are speculations on why pygmies might enjoy high heels. She admits she was really meant to be an illustrator because she’s too lazy for anything else. But her life is far from just being a party zone. She is married to a nice man and they’re raising a little girl. How she manages to juggle it all is the material for her blog you can view here. Ms. Motin has managed to find just the right balance in her comics with her uninhibited take on life.
Ms. Motin’s alter ego in her comic is constantly at odds with her party girl self and being a mom. She teaches her little girl the importance of wearing pretty red panties since you never know if you may get hit by a truck and need to go to the hospital. After attempting to get validation from anyone she can find, she asks her daughter, “Do you think my breasts are too small?” She is easily at the mercy of her vanity and can think of nothing else but how to pressure her husband into buying her a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes for her 30th birthday. Their Paris apartment is completely plastered with messages and photographs demanding that these shoes be her b-day gift.
Considering how shallow Mr. Motin’s alter ego can be, it’s refreshing to see how well the whole book holds up. Comics and fashion don’t always mix. In this case, the elegantly drawn images and carefully paced jokes add up to a delightful combination. With some of her antics, you sometimes will cringe and wonder if she’s gone too far in the same manner as the two drunken ladies from “Absolutely Fabulous.” But, then, she comes in for a safe landing, her perfectly pedicured feet firmly planted in a new pair of Louis Vuitton. What really saves her work is herself. Ms. Motin has a perfect sense of humor and can lay claim, as she suggests at the end of this book, to being the Sarah Silverman of comics.
“But I Really Wanted to be an Anthropologist…” is published by Self Made Hero. This hardcover is $24.99 in the US. Visit Self Made Hero and learn more about their wonderful books.