cover image So Long Sad Love

So Long Sad Love

Mirion Malle, trans. from the French by Aleshia Jensen. Drawn & Quarterly, $24.95 trade paper (212p) ISBN 978-1-770-46697-5

Malle’s latest (after This Is How I Disappear) stands out for its fresh dialogue, unique character design, and realistic exploration of sexual harassment in a tight-knit community of Montreal artists. Cléo, who has blonde hair with a center strip of dark roots that grows out over the course of the story, meets Farah, a “powerhouse” artist and editor, through mutual friends at a comics convention in France. Farah compliments Cléo’s art and offers to publish her. But when she learns that Cléo’s boyfriend is Charles, a more successful artist (and heavy drinker), Farah gets a strange look on her face. Cléo asks around and confirms the two knew each other in grad school, but from there stories diverge: Charles claims a crush ended when he began dating another woman, and Farah was a “crazy bitch.” Farah, on the other hand, remembers Charles stalking her and having to bring in school authorities to put an end to it. This is a story where women believe women, even when the revelation shakes Cléo to her core. The fallout with Charles spurs an adventure in getting to know herself, including a budding queer romance. With oversize hands and features that move around faces like subtle Picassos, Malle’s illustrations are as distinctive as the storytelling. It’s a savvy update on the classic notion that breaking up is hard to do. (Apr.)