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29 Ladies

What defines a truly heroic and consequential woman?
Right on time for the International Women’s Day, First Second publishes a fundamental oeuvre of the contemporanean French-Belgian comics scene.
Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked The World’, originally published in French with the title ‘Les Culottées’ is a book by the celebrated illustrator, cartoonist and script writer Pénélope Bagieu.
In it, Bagieu shows us 29 real women, handpicked through the geographical and chronological spectra, and explores the way each one negotiated her principles in rarely friendly contexts.
From Liberia’s Civil War to the sizzling stages of Josephine Baker, this book captures the biography of this actual, though sometimes obscure, figures with the graphic zest, human respect and narrative spark to which Bagieu’s fans have become accustomed.
Brazen, first published in two separate volumes, in this new English translation is not only an opportunity for new readers to know these 29 extraordinary lives but also a narrative feat in itself.
Bagieu wisely uses a powerful cadence. The stories themselves are drawn under the classical lists of the 9-panel grid. This standard’s weight has been many times too much for some artists page flow, but Bagieu fills it with impetus and textual elegance. Finishing each biography, though, the author offers us a contemplation space – lovingly rendered double-spreads that simultaneously free the confined eyes of the reader and anchor the message and icons of the just described woman.
Indispensable.

08 March
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