BOOK REVIEW: Body Music by Julie Maroh

BOOK REVIEW: Body Music by Julie Maroh

Arsenal Pulp Press
December 2017
Paperback, $34.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Graphic Novel / GLBTQ / Anothology

6/10

Attraction, desire, breaking up, making up: Body Music explores the language of love and relationships. Set in Montreal, a typical metropolis where strangers meet under varying circumstances and either fall in love or break apart, Julie Maroh’s gentle hues and fanciful vignettes unearth the pleasures, surprises, and complexities of love.

 

In the introduction to this graphic novel, Maroh highlights the fact that the stories within are about people in different stages of relationships, and who maybe don’t fit into what is so widely considered to be “normal”.

Bow-legged, chubby, ethnic, androgynous, trans, pierced, scarred, ill, disabled, old, hairy, outside all the usual aesthetic criteria . . . Queers, dykes, trans, freaks, the non-monogamous, flighty and spiny hearts: we all write our own poems and our hearts beat harder for our romances. We are not a minority; we are the alternatives. There are as many love stories as there are imaginations.

This book is a sample of the palette. My toolbox may fall short when it comes to transcribing the taste of tears, or the terribly loud silence of a breaking heart, or the feel of skin rising in ecstatic waves. But I want this book to be an homage to all the loving beings who go against what is expected of them, sometimes risking their lives in the process.

The illustrations are simple at times, but often upon closer inspection the reader will notice more depth.

And the conversations and thoughts here are the kind with which many readers will relate, whether straight, homosexual, bi, transgender, polyamorous, or any combination therein. There is love and hope and heartbreak and joy… and it is all done rather well.

It’s just a shame that the snippets can be quite short at times (21 little stories in 300 pages, with 3-4 blank pages between the end of one story and the beginning of the next). Some of these stories seem not to make sense but come back around later in the connection, others evoke the emotions and wrap up well (I may have gotten teary at one point or another), but there are some that don’t seem to get a resolution.

It is meant to be a snippet of a day in the life for a variety of people in Canada, and it was definitely intriguing and well done, it’s just a shame some of these were so short and unfulfilled.

BOOK REVIEW: Body Music by Julie Maroh

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