Femme Magnifique: 50 Magnificent Women Who Changed the World

, ed. 232p. IDW/Black Crown. Sept. 2018. pap. $29.99. ISBN 9781684053209.
This collection profiles revolutionary and diverse women throughout history and from a variety of backgrounds, including scientist Ada Lovelace, singer Kate Bush, author Octavia Butler, and former first lady Michelle Obama. A handful of queer and plus-size women are included. The majority of the subjects are white (ten are black). Some women are from countries outside the United States, including Singapore, Egypt, Brazil, South Africa, and Japan. The artwork is just as varied, from the Ben-Day dots of pop art and minimalist black-and-white imagery to synthesized watercolors and rich, vibrant shades. Each tribute is part biography, part personal impact on the contributor's life, with many profiles cleverly tying the art style to the featured woman (notably Peggy Guggenheim). Although the entries for Shirley Jackson and Harriet Tubman, among a few others, are particularly engaging, the volume as a whole is more mixed. The short entry length can sometimes hinder rather than hook readers' interest, and focus sometimes wanders too much toward the author's own experiences. This title contains just a smattering of middle fingers, a silhouetted beheading, unrevealing nudity, and negligible cursing (sometimes represented as a grawlix). Back matter includes bonus graphics, information on the Kickstarter origins of the work, a glimpse at the editorial process, and author and creator bios.
VERDICT Teens interested in graphic biographies, especially those who enjoyed Penelope Bagieu's Brazen, may appreciate this uneven work.

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