Imatge de l'autor

Pénélope Bagieu

Autor/a de Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World

28+ obres 1,550 Membres 83 Ressenyes 2 preferits

Sobre l'autor

Crèdit de la imatge: Pénélope Bagieu at Aix comics festival 2010


Obres de Pénélope Bagieu

Obres associades

Lost in Austen: Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure (2007) — Il·lustrador, algunes edicions734 exemplars


Coneixement comú

Nom normalitzat
Bagieu, Pénélope
Data de naixement
Llocs de residència
Paris, France
Brooklyn, New York, USA



Autobiographical short stories from the French author's childhood and teen years about cats, sisters, grandparents, sexual assault, molestation, crushes, grief, and an apartment with a coin-operated heating system. So yeah, it's a little all over the place in tone, though staying humorous more often than not. The episodic short story approach makes for satisfying chapters, but left me wondering about the gaps between.

This single page story is one of my favorite moments in the book:
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Contents: Why Don't You Have a Cat? You Love Cats! -- A Story about My Seduction Abilities -- Last Summer before the Year 2000 -- Florence -- The Teddy Bear Effect -- Déjà Vu -- A Story about My Fingers -- Validation -- Three Days -- -- A Story about My Grandparents -- Cold Feet -- A Story about a Wishbone -- Déjà Vu 2 -- The Kid -- Music Day -- The Comfort Blanket… (més)
villemezbrown | Hi ha 5 ressenyes més | Dec 5, 2023 |
I hate rating memoirs. How can you say whether someone's life deserves 5 stars or less? So I try to focus on the execution instead.

This memoir isn't linear, so Penelope's life is shown through episodic comics. I liked the cartoony art style, and there's a mixture of lighthearted to darker moments. Like, most people's lives. Some of the moments of sexual assault and harassment aren't shown in a visually triggering manner, but it's all the same heartwrenching. Her Deja Vu comics and the one about her love of heat were the highlights.

I think I would've rated this higher if there was a more cohesive thread. This felt like blog posts packaged into a book, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

2.5 or 3 * may update rating
… (més)
DestDest | Hi ha 5 ressenyes més | Nov 26, 2023 |
(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Netgalley. Content warning for sexual assault, sexual harassment, child abuse, grief/loss, and the death of a companion animal.)

-- 3.5 stars --

Best know for her webcomics "My Quite Fascinating Life" and "Les Culottées" (published in the US as BRAZEN: REBEL LADIES WHO ROCKED THE WORLD), French author/illustrator Pénélope Bagieu dove into her diaries to create the fifteen autobiographical comics that make up LAYERS: A MEMOIR. The result is mostly entertaining, occasionally horrifying, and sometimes downright heartbreaking.

To borrow a phrase from Michael Scott, Bagieu absolutely walloped me in the grief bone with her very first story, "Why Don't You Have a Cat? You Love Cats!" Once upon a time, Bagieu did have a cat; her name was Smokey, and they were inseparable for nineteen years. After Smokey passed, and in an all-too-relatable turn of events, Bagieu found herself unable to open her heart and home to another feline, and the almost-certain woe that would eventually entail. (It's been 794 days since my last dog died peacefully at home, and still I remain timidly and tragically dog-less. Dogsitting helps, a little.)

Some of the most moving comics concern sexual assault, sexual harassment, and child abuse. Clocking in at one page, "Florence" is as simple as it is abhorrent. (Oh, the hindsight that comes with adulthood.) "Validation" recounts the blessing - and curse - of developing boobs in adolescence, and "A Story About a Wishbone" is a rather arresting retrospection about street harassment. Perhaps most chilling is "Déjà vu," wherein Bagieu juxtaposes two instances of sexual assault that took place years apart.

Bagieu closes LAYERS with "The Comfort Blanket," which offers a nice counterpoint to "Why Don't You Have a Cat?" It's about the death of her grandmother (mother? aunt?), and how she'll always be with Bagieu - in her heart, her memories, the air around her. It's such a kind and gentle end to a book that can sometimes be jarring and macabre. I love that all of the other stories are bookended (hugged?) by these two pieces.

Overall, the collection is a bit of a mixed bag; some of the stories had already escaped my brain sieve by the time I sat down to write this review. But the comics I enjoyed are shiny little gems that I'll be carrying with me for some time. If you're an animal person, I'd recommend LAYERS for "Why Don't You Have a Cat? You Love Cats!" alone.
… (més)
smiteme | Hi ha 5 ressenyes més | Aug 23, 2023 |



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