Paris
Paris
Paris
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Paris

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By Maarten Vande Wiele. Published by Knockabout. 

Softcover? Hardcover? Kind of a soft-hardcover, 216 pages, B&W, 2012. 

‘Paris’ must be the most exquisitely dressed graphic novel the world has ever seen, where designer labels and vintage couture play as much of a role in the story as the debauched characters themselves. Full of beautiful people with ugly ideas, this book is an unhealthy cocktail of ‘Sex & The City’ and ‘Vogue’, with a generous splash of ‘The Valley of the Dolls’, and a covert dose of Chuck Palahniuk’s ‘Invisible Monsters’ for bite.

This sordid tale of one city consists of two parts: ‘I Love Paris’ and ‘I Hate Paris’, each charting the rise and dramatic fall of three fashionistas trying to make it in the cut-throat modelling industry. Faith hopes to make it as a singer, Hope has faith that the disfiguring scar on her once flawless face can be fixed with a strategic ‘do, and Chastity is willing to do literally anything to get her bejeweled fingers on a mountain of cash. But the three of them categorically fail to live up to their names in their grim desperation to make it big.

Vande Wiele has illustrated a knowingly ridiculous yet loving portrayal of a world he clearly adores, bringing an elegant black line to the page as he pays tribute to the most superficial of the brilliantly superficial.

This is a no holds barred trash graphic novel.

The Comics Journal

A fresh and frank satirical twist to the cliche ‘fashion victim’

Paul Gravett