Beautiful Darkness

By Fabien Vehlmann; Fabien Vehlmann; Helge Dascher (Translator)
(Drawn and Quarterly, Hardcover, 9781770461291, 96pp.)

Publication Date: February 25, 2014

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"A fairytale where the darkness is only natural: the real world of Beautiful Darkness not only includes but embraces decay, calm indifference, and animals who act like animals, just like life - and death. And neither its prince or princess are quite what we expect. Read it outdoors for maximum effect."--Kathe Koja, author of The Cipher and Under the Poppy

"A brilliant premise executed with panache -- Vehlmann and Kerascoët's fairy world has the offhand cruelty of the Alice books and the offhand sweetness of Moominland -- Donahey's Teeny Weenies and The Borrowers can be felt here  too -- and yet it really it seems without precedent, every page a surprise in style and form and content."--John Crowley, author of Little, Big and Aegypt


Kerascoët’s and Fabien Vehlmann’s unsettling and gorgeous anti-fairy tale is a searing condemnation of our vast capacity for evil writ tiny. Join princess Aurora and her friends as they journey to civilization's heart of darkness in a bleak allegory about surviving the human experience.  The sweet faces and bright leaves of Kerascoët’s delicate watercolors serve to highlight the evil that dwells beneath Vehlmann's story as pettiness, greed, and jealousy take over.  Beautiful Darkness is a harrowing look behind the routine politeness and meaningless kindness of civilized society.

About the Author

Fabien Vehlmann is a French comics writer who has been nominated for the Angoulême International Comics Festival Award a number of times. He is best known to North American audiences for his collaboration with the Norwegian cartoonist Jason on Isle of 100,000 Graves.

Kerascoët is a husband-and-wife cartooning team best known for illustrating the book Miss Dont Touch Me written by Hubert, as well as a couple of the Lewis Trondheim Dungeon books.

Praise For Beautiful Darkness

“A twisted tale that draws from the likes of Alice in Wonderland and The Borrowers, only Beautiful Darkness presents a much bleaker allegory about brutality. As the tiny people lose hope, their underlying pettiness, greed and jealousy become evident despite their polite words and pretty faces.”—Los Angeles Times Hero Complex

"This unforgettable graphic novel hovers on the edge of your daydreams and nightmares.”—Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"You've seen countless stories about cute little creatures living secretly in our world, but you've never read one like Beautiful Darkness. It's a world that's as adorable as it is cruel, where life is beautiful but also cheap, and where death is omnipresent.”—io9

“Set against the saccharine sweet storybook aesthetic of Kerascoët’s rapturous watercolors, Vehlmann’s narrative is a sinister saga that you won’t be able to put down.”—Nerdist

"The watercolor artwork here is painfully beautiful, and the book read on three separate sittings — one day for each season — to take in rise and wane and grudges of the miniature empires.”—Buzzfeed

"It’s The Borrowers meets Lord of the Flies.”—Comic Book Resources

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