For the Love of God, Marie!
As a teen Catholic schoolgirl in the 1960s, Marie takes the commandment to love thy neighbor literally, opening her heart and legs and discovering her own voracious sexuality in the process. She angrily brushes off the haters and slut shamers, falling headfirst into romantic adventures and befriending fellow social outliers such as William, a gay cross-dresser, and Agnes, a girl from an abusive home. But as Marie grows up and the ’60s sour into the ’70s, free love becomes less freeing. The story sometimes edges toward soapy melodrama but saves itself from becoming overserious with cheeky humor, cheerful eroticism, and characters who become more interesting and nuanced over time. And the lush, lively, manga-influenced art is to die for. If this were just a good-looking sex comic, that would be enough. But it delves into deeper issues of faith, family, aging, love, and loyalty with light, sure strokes. As this debut graphic novel shows, U.K. cartoonist Sarson is an up-and-coming talent to watch. (Dec.)