These drawings can act. They are alive with gestural attitude. They move, dance, struggle, fight back, fall in love, resist and wonder at the world. Some ham it up. Some suffer terrible abuse. To her credit, Bagieu doesn’t back away from drawing the marks of violence on their faces and their bodies, which may come as a surprise to those who are expecting a rah-rah young adult girl-power sort of read ... All of her stories follow a similar pattern ... that can feel a bit formulaic, but this seems to have more to do with the fact that the English translation is typeset rather than in Bagieu’s handwriting ... It’s painful to see this crucial part of her work replaced with type. It changes everything about how the stories are received ... Bagieu’s pen transforms these true stories into something that has the tone of a personalized fairy tale. And in the end, this turns out to be just perfect.
The effect is that each profile is akin to a lovingly stitched story quilt, the bright panels unfolding with exquisite precision and inviting visual pacing ... Also enlivening these comics is Bagieu’s playful, clear line work, which practically dances through each profile, from expressive close-ups to vivid full-body physicality ... But really, the highest praise I can give Brazen is that it belongs in most every girl’s — and boy’s — hands by middle school. The book reminds you that too many great women’s stories have been lost to history — and that for the greater good, that must never happen again.
Very few cartoonists are able to convey so wide a range of emotions while also keeping their drawings so fluid, so wild – and she has charm and wit to spare. But with Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World, she is truly in her element. This book already feels like a classic, one to be loved by every girl who reads it from now until the end of time.