An artist's line can be aggressive, persnickety, mellow or ambivalent. In Betty, Canadian artist Julie Rocheleau's line is airy ... It twists and turns, swells and thins, and as it does it seems always to yearn upward, as if it would float right off the page. Rocheleau uses layers of pale color to impart even more gauzy ephemerality. Such buoyancy is crucial to this book's message about the heavy topic of breast cancer ... There's a lot of slapstick in this book, and not a lot of words. Writer Vero Cazot deliberately emulates a silent movie ... Like Rocheleau's airy art, Cazot's approach is effervescent. It's important to talk seriously and explicitly about breast cancer, of course, but by eliminating (most) words, Cazot shows how burdensome all that verbiage can be. Words can be as heavy as breasts (actually and metaphorically) are themselves. Cazot spins out her tale with a zany, what-the-hell eccentricity ... his frothy book isn't just an attempt to lighten up a serious topic. It's also a surprisingly subtle exploration of how we deal with the weight of both breasts and cancer.
The artwork is vibrant and kinetic, and its depiction of goings-on both fantastical and reality-bound is detailed and eminently appealing. About Betty’s Boob is an inspiring, entertaining story of pain and grief transformed into joyful self-acceptance—societal expectations be damned.
It’s joyous and body-positive. However, it doesn’t pull any punches with depicting the physical and emotional pain that Betty goes through along the way. Because of this, some people may find this book to be triggering rather than empowering ... The book is almost completely wordless ... [it] blends fantasy and reality to the point where they become largely indistinguishable ... After a series of events that swing wildly between tragic and comic and back again, Betty finds affirmation with a burlesque troupe that celebrates all kinds of bodies with joyful abandon. There’s a romance...but the primary romance is that of Betty falling in love with herself in a positive, not narcissistic, way. The art in this book is fluid and vibrant ... A lovely book, but not always an easy one.