Marilyn’s Monsters

Tommy Redolfi, trans. from the French by Mark Bence. Humanoids, $29.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-59465-535-7
Although Marilyn Monroe’s life story has been told and retold before, this harrowing graphic novel proves that there are still provocative ways to delve into her tale. Stuttering and demure, Norma Jeane Baker sets out into Holy Wood, a sacred gloomy forest filled with former carnies and show business caravans. Initially met with failure and cruelty, she chases her dream to become a star and finds herself under the watch of the mysterious and oracular Wilcox couple: “The Founders” of Holy Wood. With their help, she sacrifices herself to become Marilyn Monroe. As the spotlight closes in on Marilyn, she must struggle to determine who she really is, and what monsters of the past lie still in the darkness. The evocative artwork, with careful shadowing and keenly drawn facial expressions, creates a lingering sense of empathy between the reader and Marilyn. Colors shift in warmth and intensity as the story progresses. While staying true to the real-life tale of Norma Jeane’s transformation to Monroe, this fantasy creates a rich imaginary world that pays homage to the struggles of the late actress. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/23/2018
Release date: 09/01/2018
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