I saw the online reader copy for Giantess: The Story of the Girl Who Traveled the World in Search of Freedom ages ago. And didn’t get to it because I had others I wanted to read first, plus I lost the link for a while, but then a new one appeared in Edelweiss. The cover seemed to make this Jean-Christophe Deveney/JC Deveney graphic novel have a particular theme, but went a slightly different way. I assumed we would find an outcast who would find how she fit into this world finally after a lot of misunderstandings and adventures, but it would be a young voice and a younger format and it would be a sweet, happy, cute story.
What happened instead was, yes she is somewhat an outcast, but starts life off with much love. Her human sized-to-be-father finds her in the forest. He decides he cannot leave a baby alone, so he creatively finds a way to put her on his wagon and brings her home to his wife and six sons. His wife informs him that the baby is a she (he’s been assuming boy) and of course they needed to keep her (after all a daughter finally) and off she grows. And grows. There are funny moments (the garden does well with help from what the baby leaves in the diaper), and there are serious moments. And as her brothers leave, (each with a specific “man quality” patience, intelligence, a bully, the sickly one), she too wishes to travel. But her family refuses, not because she is “different” but because she is a young woman. And this starts the journey of a young woman learning about the “place of women” in a “mans world” and especially when she is young, naïve and can be used.
I’m giving this book a four as there is a lot going on, and while I did not care for all of it, there were fabulous moments that would counter those. And the average of everything (the characters, presentation, artwork) really makes it almost impossible to rate. This is a mature feminist folktale/legend that comes to life as she makes the metaphoric and literal journey “from the farm” to the “big bad world.” She faces the world as not only a woman, but one who is different in many ways and learns that even women can be cruel, extremes have consequences, and love is complicated (and polyamory is more than acceptable). There is some drawn nudity, some violence, and other slightly adult concepts. Teens can read, but I would not go under aged 14 and even then, know your reader.
And I didn’t even mention the art of Nuria Tanarit. It’s different, but familiar. I know I have seen similar works, but at the same time it was new. I want to see a final copy to find the size of the book and the final colors and details. Things are simple, but detailed and have a muted, but still strong color scheme. Sometimes I liked the way things looked and other times not as much. They have the traditional fairy tale look, with modern elements, too. However, a couple images were “off” (there is a prince with an obscenely long arm and odd looking hand; the breasts of women take on an odd color scheme when exposed). They fit the text perfectly, and allow the theme to come off the page.