Disclaimer: I received a copy of Unfinished through a CBR giveaway in return for a prompt and honest review.
Other Disclaimer: The author is a Cannonballer, so I was going to find something nice about this book. I didn’t have to look hard, it is a fantastic graphic novel.
I wouldn’t call myself a Marilyn Monroe buff, but I do know a lot about her. She is an icon and a cultural touchstone. As such, a lot of her humanity has been stripped away. You could argue that she was always viewed as an object, a blank slate sex goddess image on which to project your desires. A number of people have tried to tell the “untold” story of Marilyn by avoiding the well known images of her. In Unfinished, Periale saturates the reader with images of Monroe, which makes her words stand out in relief. In layering image after image of Monroe on the page, Periale allows the reader to see the human being at the core.
It wouldn’t have occurred to me that this sort of graphic overload would work so well to illuminate the humanity of the subject. I think it works in part because Marilyn loved having her picture taken. She and the camera loved each other. Marilyn was very conscious of her image and worked hard to craft and maintain it. One of her great struggles was getting people to see that she was more than a blond bombshell.
I think cheesecake helps call attention to you. Then you can follow through and prove yourself.
It’s easy to define Marilyn Monroe by the tragedies in her life, the lost children, failed marriages, illnesses and drug dependency. Periale does a nice job of contrasting the smiling images with the inner turmoil. As the distance between the image and the woman grows, Periale uses more illustrations of Marilyn. More importantly, Periale tells a story of a remarkably strong woman. I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety since I was in my teens. I know exactly how much strength it takes to do what needs to be done when you are afraid.
I hope this book does well. It’s fantastic. My only complaint is that at times it is hard to read the words. It was worth the struggle though. Elizabeth, I hope you make buckets of money from this, and/or it is a step to even better projects. I enjoyed reading this very much.