I was offered an advance copy of UNFINISHED: A Graphic Novel of Marilyn Monroe by Elizabeth Periale in exchange for a timely and fair review.
Y’ALL. THIS THING IS FUCKING GORGEOUS. Why did we as adults give up one of the best parts of books? The illustration for goodness sake. I mean, how could it not be considering that its subject matter is one of the iconic beauties of the 20th Century? It’s more than that though. You can tell that a great deal of care was taken in developing the look of this book. Color palette, different type fonts indicating different things are being communicated. Images chosen and lovingly altered for maximum impact. Lots of new (to me, anyway) images, too!
Marilyn has been so well researched for this graphic novel. I love the way that the author weaves together Marilyn’s inner voice, news reel text, actual quotes, and various other voices to tell the story. But that leads me to my next point: for a project that was such an obvious labor of love, the fonts are kind of hard to read. Hard enough to read that I had to sit under the lamp I use to cross stitch. I’m not sure if it’s the font, the color of the text, the color of the background, or some variation of all of these. It makes me wonder if it was easier to read on the computer screen she used while putting this together.
Housekeeping aside, I felt like Marilyn is portrayed in a manner that is very three dimensional for all that the medium is two dimensional. There’s more to her story than you think, and it is very well represented in this graphic novel.