By Bastien Vivés. Published by Fantagraphics.
Hardcover, 92 pages, Colour, 2021.
This poetic graphic novel explores the emotional bloodbath of a romance gone awry.
A young man and woman fall for each other and all is sweetness and light. But when their relationship crumbles, they each must endure the ensuing emotional fallout. Starting from this ostensibly simple premise, Bastien Vives crafts an affecting narrative about the mercurial and tempestuous nature of romance and why we pursue it anyway.
The Butchery is composed of the little moments that make and break a relationship: lively dancing, silent strolls hand in hand, stilted phone calls, tearful pillow talk. Rendered with delicate colored pencils and an elegant use of white space, this story achieves an emotional clarity through its skillful brevity. At turns tender, agonizing, and darkly humorous, The Butchery is painfully relatable to anyone who has loved and lost.
"This artfully rendered fable captures the love, pain, and unbridgeable chasms of romance gone awry." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"We revel in the skillful drawing with exquisite pacing, the emotional force packed into the sparest of lines. Vives is a masterful artist." — New York Journal of Books
"Lyrical in its pacing and poetic in its visuals… The Butchery is designed to make readers feel every emotion known to humans in love or who have loved and it leaves you no choice but to keep reading." — Graphic Policy
"Vives' soft, sketchbook art-style imbues The Butchery with an appropriately tender and minimalist feeling." — Comics Bookcase
"Clever and artistically brilliant… [The Butchery] exemplifies the simplicity in the mundane and turns it into art." — Review Fix