The late acclaimed graphic biographer turns her spotlight on one of France's most beguiling writers and cultural figures, whose dramatic adventures and romantic escapades enthralled the French public at the turn of the 20th century.
Colette is responsible for creating some iconic looks including the 'Claudine Collar' worn by the protagonist of her first novel and Goetzinger seemed to relish rendering every last swatch of fabric ... Her soft watercolor paintings and delicate pencil lines have an art nouveau touch to them. Colette often looks like a decorative model from an Alphone Mucha painting yet Goetzinger managed to always convey the real woman beneath her Parisian counter-culture style ... Page and panel design are paramount and she makes sure each and every one looks perfect and stands on its own as a little vignette. Entire events are sometimes encapsulated into one panel ... It is very much an artist’s approach to storytelling, focusing on the iconic imagery and the stunning visuals and letting them literally tell the story with some word balloons added to give some narration ... The Provocative Colette is a mature conclusion to Annie Goetzinger’s career.
Throughout it all, Goetzinger elides emotional storms, portraying Colette and her loves as improbably, unsinkably resilient. The only real exception is when husband No. 2 objects to her affair with his son ... Goetzinger gives similarly short shrift to Colette the writer, offering little insight into a mind as fecund as it was unfettered. We seldom see her at work and learn little about what made her want to write—though we do witness her insecurity ... And yet, Colette being who she was, Goetzinger's approach makes a certain sense. Much of what Colette wrote was autobiographical, after all, and her horizons were bounded by love ... More importantly, Goetzinger's art is beguiling enough to excuse her narrative slip-ups ... Her style is deceptively transparent: She seems to be relaying beautiful visions, not crafting them. But her hand is tyrannical nonetheless. Just as she skips over the torturous parts of Colette's romantic progress, she banishes all grit and grot from turn-of-the-century Paris ... For anyone who likes to believe that beauty is a prime driving force in life—and that it excuses many failings—Goetzinger offers eloquent support.
Carving a niche as the creator of gorgeously illustrated, well-documented historical tales focusing on women’s lives, French artist Goetzinger...gives voice to her muse here, incorporating Colette’s own words into the narration. Goetzinger’s fashion-illustration background again shines in precise, realistic, sensually drawn figures and a lush palette, fitting her Belle Epoque setting, while her page layout keeps all the pace and appeal of traditional comics-reading.