All Coddie has ever wanted is to be beautiful. She’s been ugly and plain her whole life, perpetually smelling of fish from scaling them, and is consequently the laughingstock of her small village. She inadvertently frees a fairy from its prison and it grants her one wish. Fairies unfortunately don’t give beauty unless you’re a royal in a cradle, but it can change how people see her. So from then on, Coddie is perceived as the most beautiful woman in the world. Coddie soon comes to realize it’s both a blessing and a curse. She becomes the object of affection to a local lord, but was forced to run from her village because of it. Rechristened Beauty, Coddie is content for a time, before she realizes she could have so much more… and sets out to take it. But at what costs?
This graphic novel reads like a fairy tale – an original brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson. For the most part, the story is fantastical, yet has brutally honest and some violent moments. The book is laid out in plain panels, so it’s very clear in which order to read in, like a print book. The figures are all so expressive, almost caricature-like. Kerascoët did a marvelous job of drawing Coddie as both her real self and how everyone else perceives her when we are supposed to be looking at her through someone else’s eyes. Enchanting and haunting.
KerascoëtHubert. Beauty. English translation published 2014.