The Story: Marie sees the world differently to those around her. Her story is one of love and acceptance as we follow her exploration of sexuality, the important relationships in her life and watch as she changes the lives of those around her.
I hate to use the word journey when describing a comic or a film, but I’ve sat here thinking of an alternative and have come up with nothing. This graphic novel is exactly that, a journey through the life of Marie.
For the Love of God, Marie is split into chapters, each a defining moment in Marie’s life, each with its own colour palette. The introduction begins at her confirmation in the 1960s where we learn that Marie is a child brimming with love but is left questioning how that can be shared when the Catholicism that surrounds her seems so against it.
Fast forward to 18-year-old Marie, whose free spirited nature doesn’t quite fit into her religious upbringing and makes her stand out at her Catholic school. She makes friends with the “weird” kids, whose friendship is joyous. They accept each other for who they are despite the oddities that make them stand out against the norm of a 1960s sixth form. The relationship she shares with her brother particularly made me smile, the mocking yet supportive sibling dynamic is portrayed without over playing it. Several important moments in Marie’s life are explored during the telling of her story. She isn’t perfect and Sarson doesn’t pull punches when displaying some of her more undesirable qualities.
The sex scenes, of which there are quite a few, are all handled gracefully and are graphic without being gratuitous.
There were two minor irritations for me with this story. The first was the breaking of the fourth wall towards the end: however, the wonderful tapestry that had been woven in the other 200+ pages made it very easy to forgive. The second was the lettering. My personal preference would have been for uppercase, but I can understand why the author would choose to use softer lowercase lettering; it’s in keeping with the style and doesn’t detract from the narrative.
The best parts, apart from the story? The splash page, which followed Marie and her beau playing chess, with the dappled light through the trees and the change of colour style, perfectly left the suggestion of the couple falling in love.
There were several times I felt I could almost drift away from the story, but I was quickly brought back in with a well timed gag or unexpected reveal. Throughout the book the colouring matches Marie’s personality, gentle but interesting, and perfectly matches the art style and story telling. The page with the daffodils still stands out and as I was reading it I wanted to frame it and hang it on my wall.
Jade’s line work is deft and handled with a light touch. Occasionally the panel layouts didn’t flow as well as they could, but this was rare in an otherwise fluid read. I finished reading this book with a smile on my face wanting to meet a real world Marie and chat with her over coffee about what she’s been up to since.
- For the Love of God, Marie! is available at myriadeditions.com
- ISBN 978-1-908434-77-7
- eISBN 978-1-908434-78-4
- Jade Sarson can be found at teahermit.co.uk and on twitter @Jadedlyco