By Michiel Budel. Published by Secret Acres.
Softcover, 84 pages, Monochrome and Colour, 2017.
Join a worldwide cult phenomenon for a unique, naively erotic, geopolitically savvy adventure with Francine, the most wayward of girls.
With its fascistic imagery, pubescent sexuality, raucous humor, and complex political allegory, the anonymously posted webcomic, slechtemeisjes, became an instant cult phenomenon, hailed as the "Greatest Comic of All Time" by Comic Book Resources. Now, one of the world's most enigmatic, controversial, and provocative webcomic creators, Michiel Budel, delivers his debut graphic novel, Francine. Teens can be deceiving, and Francine is exceptionally so. She murders her bully, fakes her own death, steals her best friend's mother, and makes any situation uncomfortably sexual. She's awful. Everyone loves her. You will, too. Recommended for immature readers only.
Michiel Budel revealed himself as the creator of the webcomic, slechtemeisjes, in 2011, publishing a pair of slechtemeisjes comic books under the loosely translated title of Wayward Girls. His comics have since appeared in several print anthologies and journals including the internationally acclaimed kuš! anthology, Lumpen Magazine, and Smoke Signal. He still posts comics at slechtemeisjes.nl and at Medium. Budel and his Wayward Girls were even the subject of a news feature on VRPO, Dutch public television.
"Budel's brilliant comic features pubescent girls in various states of undress as they discuss imperialism, economics, and constant war, among many other global-political topics germane to the 21st Century. . . . Maybe the quintessential comic of the two-thousand-and-teens." — John Porcellino, author of the Hospital Suite
"This is drawing to change people’s ideas of what exactly “beautiful comic book art” looks like, and it’s also the perfect match for the surreal, logic-light world of the stories it brings to life. It’s rare indeed to see a comic both this far removed from anything else and this aesthetically unified, but here it is: something that manages mastery with almost no visible influences. There isn’t a whole lot else like Wayward Girls, and there certainly isn’t much else this good out there at the moment." — Matt Seneca, CBR
"Dutch cartoonist Michiel Budel’s wildly idiosyncratic webcomic, Slechte Meisjes, stars a rotating cast of Lolita-esque girls in surpassingly strange, hilarious, often Sapphic adventures that are mixed with political allegory… …While Budel’s comics are perhaps known and discussed mostly for their seriously pervy qualities, they should also be appreciated for their great humor and wonderfully wrought, even lyrical, dream logic. Many folks will immediately correlate Budel’s work to artists like Henry Darger and Balthus, who also trafficked heavily in pre-adolescent sexual imagery. But like Darger himself, Budel has a guilelessly bonkers sensibility that keeps itself to itself." — The Comics Journal
"One of the trickiest aspects of reviewing comics is trying to describe something when I come across a style that is completely new." — Optical Sloth