Brontë, by Manuela Santoni in a biographical graphic novel of the Bronte siblings. The elegant lines on the cover immediately drew me in, and I just had to read the title to know this was a comic I had to read.
What is the story about?
This is a dark comic, gothic and melancholic and wild, exactly like I imagine those sisters would have liked. They were incredibly independent women of their time, so talented too and it’s so tragic to think they lost their lives so young. This is a forever running theme of the talented person not living beyond thirty and never able to fully accomplish giving what they could have to humanity. It is such a tragic fate. And it is so fitting to their style.
What I hadn’t foreseen was the importance of the brother in this tale. I didn’t know that much about the sisters except for their reputed strong personalities and early death. This book gave a very emotional view into their lives, highlighting the hardship and conflict and passion and ultimately their love for each other. They were very different the 3 of them. But they shared one amazing passion: the one of writing and that will to be more than what their time allowed is, to be liberated is what shines out of this book.
What about the illustrations?
They are simple energetic lines that manage a very elegant world. The Bronte sisters have strong chins, long eyes and high foreheads: They are determined, romantic and smart. There brother looks so much like Emily, the wildest, and we can see that the strongest bond could have been between them. I really loved the character design, but there is also a lot of poetry in the illustrations. Chapters are separated by large panels of breathing space where an almost elemental, ephemeral pause gives this gothic feel to the comic. There are crows, cold weather, whispers of scandal, fights, love and hate. And so much of the atmosphere of those brilliant writers has been drawn here.
This is really a work of love, a declaration to 3 amazing women. A lovely comic to read.