cover image About Betty’s Boob

About Betty’s Boob

Vero Cazot and Julie Rocheleau. Archaia, $29.99 (192p) ISBN 978-1-68415-164-6

In this joyous paean to resilience, a breast cancer diagnosis devastates then subsequently enlivens one woman’s life. After a mastectomy, Betty loses her job, her love, and her self-esteem. But when she chases her windblown wig onto a cruise ship, she discovers the world of burlesque—and in it, a bright and beautiful way forward. Betty becomes Betty Boob, a defiantly one-breasted chanteuse whose setbacks become her greatest strength. Rocheleau’s illustrations turn each page into a raucous, exultant ode to the art of cartooning: Betty’s electric grins and the spangled backstage come alive with textural detail and deep, jewel-toned colors, and the motion of everything from Betty’s performances to her encounter with a handsome entertainer nearly leaps off the page. Though certain elements border on the saccharine (the burlesque troupe is at times a bit too quirky) the tale’s adherence to the reality of sickness and loss keeps it grounded. Betty’s story is a charmed one, but not quite a fairy tale. Rather, it is a celebration of change, fortitude, and the healing power of art. (June)