Heliotrope, crazy love

Héliotrope is a schoolgirl who lives with her alcoholic grandmother and her pet iguana. To seduce her classmate Calypso, she steals a magic item. This one colors her skin in heliotrope blue and puts her in danger. The duo formed by Héliotrope and his grandmother Baboushka is very ingenious. Their selfishness and their violence irritate, but we laugh about it, because this work does not claim to impose the least morality. Secondary characters like Aspirin, inspired by the eponymous series by Joann Sfar, give relief to this superb panel of protagonists.

If the screenplay is by Joann Sfar and we recognize her pencil stroke, it is Benjamin Chaud who develops the drawing and Isabelle Rabarot who takes charge of the color work. From this successful collaboration emerges an original visual object with excellent chromatic choices. The boxes are small and dense, which goes perfectly with an overexcited narration. Finally, the family portraits on the final pages add depth to the content.

Politically incorrect humor

The strong point of the comic is its vulgar and crazy humor. The character of the grandmother reinforces this tone. She taunts the frontiers of consciousness with her bottle of vodka and does not hesitate to use her paperclip and stab the neighbors. Nothing could be more normal for Héliotrope who falls asleep saying to himself: My grandmother did kill a neighbor with less emotion than if she had uncapped a bottle of beer. »

Joann Sfar introduces contemporary considerations into this universe populated by witches and vampires. The heroine is a lesbian, she goes to a demonstration to make friends and she is outraged to see her sweetheart kissing a “straight cis male“. But here, no political discourse. The characters are cynical, detached and simply compose with the surrounding reality.

A confusing story arc

Despite all its qualities, the work struggles to hook the reader to the end. There are too many events and this epileptic narration is tiring. The heroine flies on the back of vampires, breaks into a school of wizards, runs away from class, she is surrounded by CRS and kidnapped by her grandmother. We end up getting lost. Joann Sfar would have benefited from omitting certain passages to develop the main elements of the narration.

This accumulation of adventures and characters sometimes makes the subject clumsy and the content of the story superficial. Racism is vaguely addressed with the color heliotrope blue, but it’s hollow. This skin color is as much an object of stigma as of lust. The parallel is therefore flawed and could have been avoided. Heliotrope’s family condition confronts her with rejection and loneliness.

We find the problems specific to preadolescence: dazzling and desperate love affairs, the fear of not being able to make friends, family cohabitation… It would have been interesting to dig into this aspect in order to give substance to this delirium. imaginative sometimes not very affordable.

Heliotropeis an uneven but surprising work that deserves to be read. Volume 2 has just been released. The girl is armed with abank card adjuster» and becomes the mistress of the house following the hospitalization of her grandmother. Beautiful promises!

Heliotrope, crazy love