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Beautiful Darkness

Beautiful Darkness

Regular price €18,00 EUR
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By Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoët. Published by Drawn & Quarterly.

Softcover, 94 pages, Color, 2009. 


Newly homeless, a group of fairies find themselves trying to adapt to their new life in the forest. As they dodge dangers from both without and within, optimistic Aurora steps forward to organize and help build a new community. Slowly, the world around them becomes more treacherous, as petty rivalries and factions form.

Beautiful Darkness became a bestseller and instant classic when it was released in 2014. This paperback edition of the modern horror classic will contain added material, preparatory sketches and unused art. While Kerascoet mix gorgeous watercolors and spritely cartoon characters, Vehlmann takes the story into bleaker territory as the seasons change and the darkness descends. Like any great horror, there are moments of calm and jarring shock while a looming dread hangs over the forest.

Translated from the French by Helge Dascher. Dascher has been translating graphic novels from French and German to English for over twenty years. A contributor to Drawn & Quarterly since the early days, her translations include acclaimed titles such as the Aya series by Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie and Hostage by Guy Delisle. With a background in art history and history, she also translates books and exhibitions for museums in North America and Europe. She lives in Montreal.

Praise for Beautiful Darkness

The first six pages of Beautiful Darkness comprise one of the more dramatic squences you're likely to see in any comcis work...It's creepy, scary, and intriguing, a potent dare to stop reading, and an irresistible lure to turn the page.

Robot 6 / Comic Book Resources

This unforgettable graphic novel hovers on the edge of your daydreams and nightmares.

Publishers Weekly, starred review

Marie Pommepuy and Fabien Vehlmann’s story, though, immediately shifts its focus to the crawling terror on the underside of fairy tales’ gentility...Pommepuy and Sébastien Cosset, who draw collaboratively under the name Kerascoët, render Aurora and her friends in the huge-eyed style of classic children’s book illustrations, but cuteness is just another Darwinian survival strategy here.

New York Times Book Review

Set against the saccharine sweet storybook aesthetic of Kerascoet’s rapturous watercolors, Vehlmann’s narrative is a sinister saga that you won’t be able to put down.


It’s a twisted tale that draws from the likes of “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Borrowers,” only “Beautiful Darkness” presents a much bleaker allegory about brutality. As the tiny people lose hope, their underlying pettiness, greed and jealousy become evident despite their polite words and pretty faces.

LA Times Hero Complex

A fairytale where the darkness is only natural: the real world of Beautiful Darkness not only includes but embraces decay, calm indifference, and animals who act like animals, just like life—and death. And neither its prince nor princess are quite what we expect. Read it outdoors for maximum effect.

Kathe Koja, author of The Cipher and Under the Poppy

You've seen countless stories about cute little creatures living secretly in our world, but you've never read one like Beautiful Darkness. It's a world that's as adorable as it is cruel, where life is beautiful but also cheap, and where death is omnipresent... in more ways than one.


Tezuka meets Moomin. Casual cruelty and betrayal set in a gorgeous watercolor graphic novel.


A brilliant premise executed with panache—Vehlmann and Kerascoët’s fairy world has the offhand cruelty of the Alice books and the offhand sweetness of Moominland—Donahey’s Teeny Weenies and The Borrowers can be felt here too—and yet it really seems without precedent, every page a surprise in style and form and content.

John Crowley, author of Little, Big and Aegypt
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