cover image Giantess


JC Deveney and Nuria Tamarit, trans. from the French by Dan Christensen. Magnetic, $29.99 (200p) ISBN 978-1-951719-61-6

Deveney and Tamarit’s English-language debut, a luminously drawn feminist fairy tale, uses its heroine’s journey to explore immersive fantasy settings and probe fundamental questions about society. In a vibrant medieval world, a woodcutter finds a giant baby in the woods and adopts her. Celeste grows into a lively, curious 60-foot-tall redhead who yearns to leave the family farm and see the outside world. When the opportunity for adventure presents itself, she takes off, beginning an extended bildungsroman in which her literally larger-than-life existence challenges one societal norm after another. The giantess is displayed for money by a scheming peddler, romanced by a kindly white knight and a troubled acrobat, imprisoned in a dungeon with other nonconforming women (“Because we’re different, sweetheart!”), educated by a witch, married to a king, and so on. Nuria’s artwork, drenched in merry colors, has a folk-art directness reminiscent of great children’s book illustrators like Tomie dePaola. She draws simple, charming characters in endlessly imaginative settings: a mermaid island, a town in a tree, a stark mountain convent, a sunny seaside village. Along the way, Celeste discovers learning, art, sex, love, and compassion, and gradually forms her own ideas about how people might live. Insightfully scripted and drawn with pages to pore over, this labor of love has an instant-classic feel and deserves to be treasured. (Sept.)