Beauty

Beauty

eBook - 2014
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When the repulsively ugly Coddie unintentionally saves a fairy from a spell, she does not understand the poisonous nature of the wish granted her by the fairy. The village folk no longer see her as repulsive and stinking of fish-they now perceive her as magnetically beautiful-which does not help her in her village. A young local lord saves her, but it soon becomes apparent that Coddie's destiny may be far greater than anyone ever imagined. Caustic and flamboyant, this fairy tale offers grownups an engrossing take on the nature of beauty.
Publisher: [United States] : NBM Publishing, 2014.
Made available through hoopla, 2014.
Characteristics: 1 online resource
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QueenBoadicea Oct 15, 2015

“Be careful what you wish for.” Truer words were never spoken. The ugly, odoriferous Coddie wishes for beauty and is given the illusion of being the most radiant vision of loveliness in the eyes of everyone who sees her. It all goes downhill from there.

Like a fairy tale gone twisted and wrong, Coddie’s false exquisiteness instantly destroys her life. She rouses the wild passions of the male villagers, who nearly tear her to pieces in their lust, and the ire of the village women who try to destroy her. Her mother dies, the man she loves leaves in order to spoil her with riches and she winds up being married, widowed, carried off, raped and tossed from hand to hand like a bag of meal. Unlike another fairy tale maiden called Beauty, Coddie isn’t gifted with sense, kindness or even a strong moral character as she tries to make herself happy at the expense of everyone else around her. All seems headed for certain disaster until she takes matters into her own hands.

In that sense, “Beauty” surmounts its fairy tale leanings. There aren’t any damsels in distress here and, if there are, they’ll find little help from their menfolk. The men mainly become crazed fools, more likely to cause trouble than solve it. All the women can do is strive to carve a place in a world that values them only for their good looks.

There are many strong females in this graphic novel: the godmother who rails at Coddie like a wicked stepmother, the adversarial fairies Mab and Mara, the plain but cunning Claudine and the blonde and buxom Dagmar whose bloodthirstiness proves to be her own undoing, e.g. But striding above them all is Coddie, now renamed Beauty, who works to overcome her peasant upbringing and her own ignorance.

The story works powerfully because it eschews the conventional turns of märchen and upsets our expectations. Its moral lesson in no way obscures its tone or renders it dull. It’s exciting, filled with adventure, swiftly plotted and inventive at every turn.

That being stated, I don’t care all that much for the illustrations. They are rather crude and simplistic, more like children’s drawings than the more sophisticated graphics I’ve come to expect by artists like Rebecca Guay, Gurihiru or Sebastian Fiumara, e.g. So while the story receives top marks for its innovation, the illustrations render it rather subpar.

FindingJane Oct 15, 2015

“Be careful what you wish for.” Truer words were never spoken. The ugly, odoriferous Coddie wishes for beauty and is given the illusion of being the most radiant vision of loveliness in the eyes of everyone who sees her. It all goes downhill from there.

Like a fairy tale gone twisted and wrong, Coddie’s false exquisiteness instantly destroys her life. She rouses the wild passions of the male villagers, who nearly tear her to pieces in their lust, and the ire of the village women who try to destroy her. Her mother dies, the man she loves leaves in order to spoil her with riches and she winds up being married, widowed, carried off, raped and tossed from hand to hand like a bag of meal. Unlike another fairy tale maiden called Beauty, Coddie isn’t gifted with sense, kindness or even a strong moral character as she tries to make herself happy at the expense of everyone else around her. All seems headed for certain disaster until she takes matters into her own hands.

In that sense, “Beauty” surmounts its fairy tale leanings. There aren’t any damsels in distress here and, if there are, they’ll find little help from their menfolk. The men mainly become crazed fools, more likely to cause trouble than solve it. All the women can do is strive to carve a place in a world that values them only for their good looks.

There are many strong females in this graphic novel: the godmother who rails at Coddie like a wicked stepmother, the adversarial fairies Mab and Mara, the plain but cunning Claudine and the blonde and buxom Dagmar whose bloodthirstiness proves to be her own undoing, e.g. But striding above them all is Coddie, now renamed Beauty, who works to overcome her peasant upbringing and her own ignorance.

The story works powerfully because it eschews the conventional turns of märchen and upsets our expectations. Its moral lesson in no way obscures its tone or renders it dull. It’s exciting, filled with adventure, swiftly plotted and inventive at every turn.

That being stated, I don’t care all that much for the illustrations. They are rather crude and simplistic, more like children’s drawings than the more sophisticated graphics I’ve come to expect by artists like Rebecca Guay, Gurihiru or Sebastian Fiumara, e.g. So while the story receives top marks for its innovation, the illustrations render it rather subpar.

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