January 5, 2012

"Well, if the kids have mustaches at least we can retire early!"

Some of you guys know I love the arts, and that's what I went to post-secondary for.  My favorite art form would have to be the comic.  There's no other medium that has so much narrative potential without getting into animation.

When I want to spoil myself, I'll by a Flight book.  It's the most beautiful comics anthology I've ever seen, and is now (as of this post) in its eighth volume.  I kind of buy them out of order, depending on what's available in the bookstore I happen to be in when this self-indulgent urge occurs, which is how I wound up reading Flight Volume Four last week.  Unexpectedly, I encountered a story where the punch-line was a bearded lady.

Okay, well, I guess it all depends on how you look at it.  I think the way the artist intended it to be was that the punch-line was that a desperate strong man would give up on a beautiful trapeze artist who actually agreed to a date, because he saw her shaving her chin.  But as soon as his twin brother resigns himself to the risk of furry little children, the first one wants to fight for her again.

The comic is "Little Trouble in the Big Top" by Vera Brosgol.  You'll have to forgive the scan; you can't find the bearded lady page anywhere online, probably because they don't want to ruin the twist.  I struggled with posting it, myself, but in the end, what I would want to see is the depiction of the discovery of the beard.  And I'm already talking about how the comic ends, so I think we're all spoiled to the ending now anyway.

It's really a cute story with rich colors and charming presentation, and I regret that anyone who reads it now because of this post will not be as surprised as I was when I saw the razor come out. And I love that the trapeze artist is a trapeze artist, and not in the circus as a bearded lady.  The sibling rivalry over her affection is so innocent and bull-headed, and their reaction to the truth about their chosen "bride" is just human nature.  And in the end, her secret is kind of forgotten again in the resurgence of the sibling rivalry.

It makes me want to read a comic that specifically deals with a lady with a beard, and not have her on the sidelines.  I think if I want to, though, I might have to make one myself.

Anyway, the Flight books, edited by Kazu Kibushi--highly recommend them.  If you like comics that are creator-owned, not so mainstream, with beautiful varied styles and unique stories, you'll love these books.  There's something for everyone within those pages.

No comments: