Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoet
This book is barely 100 pages, a graphic novel, not be confused with the Kami Garcia one. So buckle in for this gruesome little fable. It’s the story of a small village that apparently lives inside the corpse of a dead little girl. YEP. It’s like Cinderella or one of the Disney Princesses. But instead of a Elsa making a castle of ice while she let’s it go, it’s a FUCKING DEAD LITTLE GIRL. And it’s not like, oh, maybe she’s sleeping. Nope. At once point, a crazy character takes up residence in her hollowed out eyes sockets. Because she had decayed. Earlier this character was eating the maggots growing underneath the little girl.
It’s a sadly beautiful treatise on how fairy tales are supposed to work. With a wicked princess and a dick of a prince who just uses everyone. There aren’t many nice people in this story. Even our heroine finally gets fed up and nasty. It’s got a brutal bastard of an ending, one that was just appropriately wonderfully mean. And yet totally apropos to the story.
Again, this is reminiscent of the old Roald Dahl stories where nasty kids actually got murdered and where the prince actually hacked off the heads of the wicked stepsisters and Cinderella was like, “Yeah, fuck you, Charming” and ran away to the woods to live happy and free. The heroine of these story takes care of herself. Sometimes she needs help. Sometimes she gets double crossed. It’s wonderfully drawn and sinister and I highly, highly recommend it.