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Beautiful Darkness

Written by Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoet | Translated by Dascher Helge | February 2014
Beautiful Darkness, written by Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoet, translated by Dascher Helge | Drawn and Quarterly | February 2014

Aurora’s having a tea party with Hector, the prince she’s been dreaming about, when a sudden deluge forces them to take shelter elsewhere. They emerge from the skull of a dead girl into the woods at night, and find themselves amongst a crowd of tiny people, all of whom are milling about. Aurora quickly takes charge of the situation, and at first things seem to be going well for most of her friends. Despite a few injuries and deaths and a lot of hunger, they forage successfully, and befriend a mouse that lives in the neighborhood. But as time goes by, more and more of the little people begin to lose hope, turning against one another in brutal ways.

Beautiful Darkness is a harrowing look at the human psyche and the darkness that hides behind the routine politeness and meaningless kindness of civilized society. The sweet faces and bright leaves of Kerascoet’s joyful watercolors only serve to highlight the evil which dwells beneath, as characters allow their pettiness, greed, and jealousy to take over. Beautiful Darkness presents a bleak allegory on the human condition; Kerascoet and Vehlman’s work is a searing condemnation of our vast capacity for evil writ tiny.

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