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Kiki de Montparnasse
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Kiki de Montparnasse

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  827 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Kiki de Montparnasse, née Alice Prin au tout début du XXe siècle, fut l’une des figures les plus marquantes de la vie artistique parisienne de l’entre-deux guerres, lors des Années Folles. Égérie et amie de très nombreux artistes – Modigliani, Duchamp, Desnos, Picasso, Cocteau, Aragon, bon nombre des surréalistes –, Kiki fut la muse et l’inspiratrice de créateurs devenus d ...more
Paperback, 413 pages
Published March 2007 by Editions Casterman (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,377)
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Seth Hahne
My wife, after reading Kiki de Montparnasse for something near a half hour, stopped and asked me: "Is this for real? Did men really just go up to women and offer them a few bucks to flash their boobs?" I assured her that it was and that it's the same today and it's not a big thing and everybody does it. I was not very convincing. Probably because I was as surprised as her. I knew the early twentieth century in Europe1 was a rambunctious time—what with the swift ideological, artistic, and moral p ...more
Sam Quixote
Alice Prin was born in 1901 into poverty in rural France. Raised by a loving grandmother along with several other bastards, her mother was in Paris chasing artists and the high life while her biological father was nowhere to be found, and when Alice turned 12 she was sent to Paris. Her high energy and natural beauty became too much for her carefree mother and after being caught modelling nude for a local painter, Alice was turned away by her mother and forced to make a living on the streets.

It’
...more
Amélie
Cette bédé-brique est un tourbillon de visages, de fêtes, de toiles, de liaisons amoureuses, de musique & d’après-midi en terrasse.

C’est étourdissant.

C’est surtout l’histoire d’Alice Prin, arrivée à Paris à l’adolescence & devenue dans les années 20 l’une des modèles les plus en demande de Montparnasse, chouchoutée par les artistes de l’avant-garde parisienne. Kiki, comme on la surnomme très vite, est haute en couleur, bruyante, parfois vulgaire mais toujours vivante, délicieusement heur
...more
Suketus
Olipa kiinnostava elämäkerta-sarjis Montparnassen sotienvälisen ajan kuningattaresta, taiteilijoiden muusasta, Kikistä. Kun sarjisgenre on aika vieras, en osaa siihen verrata, mutta yksittäisenä lukukokemuksena hieno ja avartava. Etenkin, koska kirja kuvaa pääasiassa suosikkiaikakauttani 1920-lukua ja sen williä pariisilaista elämää.
Cheryl
I loved this graphic novel based on the life of Alice Prin, better known as Kiki of Montparnasse. She rose to fame as a model for a variety of artists, most famously perhaps Man Ray who took the photo of Kiki known as Ingre's Violin, as represented on the cover. She was a cabaret performer, muse, and artist in her own right and was well known for being at the heart of many-a-party and the breaker of many hearts.

The story can be read without any knowledge of the community of creative expatriates
...more
Heather
I must not have been paying attention, because until I had the book in my hands, I had no idea it wasn't a traditional biography. I wanted to read it because it has to do with art and artists, and I am a former art major.

There was nothing in the pages to endear me to any of the characters, except perhaps Foujita. Kiki was rather annoying and childish. The artists came off as assholes or abusers, and the fact that they were artists is not an excuse in my mind. Also, this book did a lot to de-glam
...more
Tate Ryan
This is the second 'longish' graphic novel i have read and I'm not sure i'm into them. However I give credit that at least KIKI is a charismatic character worth writing about I just wish it was done in a more a succinct way and with specialised artwork (maybe in colour) that conveyed her beauty and lively character while spending more time on her inner thoughts and why she acted the way she did rather that introducing us to every famous french artist she met. I wanted to know more about her than ...more
Sonic
This huge biographic-comic takes us through a series of vignettes illustrating the life and times of Kiki, model, muse and party girl who in turn takes us on a tour of the roaring bohemian scene of Paris at the birth of Surrealism and Dadaism with her colorful cast of friends who just happen to be the great artists of that time!
This book had a breezy, frivolous feel to me at first, but the more I read, the more interested I became in this astounding and colorful character and that thriving art s
...more
meredith ann
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J K
A glorious taster of Bohemian life in the 1920s. Simple style of art but very effective, it's more of a selection of vignettes that comprised KiKi's life, and it's also one of those books that makes you want to look up all the people mentioned in its pages - although I was impressed by the life stories of the srtists she was involved with, set out at the back of this book.
Brooke
Somehow I knew when I saw the cover of this book that I would love it. Lately I've been strangely drawn to books that deal with fine ars. This one, which was written and illustrated as a graphic novel, was fascinating.

It chronicles the life of an infamous muse named Kiki, the Queen of Montparnasse. It talks about all the artists she inspired. How she changed them, how both they changed her and failed to change her at the same time. It was a wonderful illustration and depiction of 1920s female e
...more
Carol
While I appreciate how graphic novels can tell a story in a unique way, that did not happen here. Better to stick with real photos and learn about Kiki from Billy Kluver and Julie Martin's "Kiki's Paris: Artists and Lovers 1900-1930."
Bluestockingirl
Though I finished the graphic novel part of this book, I haven't read through the Chronology and Biographies at the end, so I guess I haven't really, totally finished this book yet.
(view spoiler)
...more
Kaelin
I admire the artwork and the extensive research that I am sure went into the creation of this book. Kiki was a real woman who met many important figures in the art and literary world (example: Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway). However, the end result was, for me, a portrait of a person who was not very endearing. I couldn't root for her as a lot of the things that happened to her or the hardships she endured were because of her own actions and choices. She was a woman wh ...more
Alison
Apparently for the bohemian, 1920s, Left Bank woman, showing your breasts to strangers worked as a kind of currency?
Maarit
Ihan kiinnostava sarjakuva ranskalaisesta (tai pikemminkin pariisilaisesta) taidemaailmasta, pääosassaan Kiki (oik. Alice Prin), jonka elämäkertana sarjakuva samalla toimii. Kiki on Pariisissa aikaansa viettävien taiteilijoiden muusa, joka on tunnettu myös villistä elämästään ja omista töistään ja jonka elintavat saattavat hänet lopulta hautaan. Sarjakuvassa esiintyy paljon 1920-1930-luvun taiteilijoita, joista lähestulkoon kaikilla on siteitä Kikiin tavalla tai toisella. Suurin osa taiteilijois ...more
Christa  Seeley
The story of Kiki de Montparnasse is both an admirable and a tragic one.

The back of the book describes her as “one of the first emancipated women of the 20th century.” And the authors of this graphic novel, certainly make that case. But when all was said and done I found myself wondering if that was the most accurate description of the Queen de Montparnasse.

Kiki (born Alice Prin) is the definition of coming from nothing. Born an illegitimate child in a small French village, her mother ran off to
...more
Matti Karjalainen
Catelin ja Bocquetin yhteistyön tuloksena syntynyt "Kiki - Montparnassen kuningatar" (Arktinen Banaani, 2009) on kiitetty ja palkittu sarjakuvamuotoinen Alice Prinin elämäkerta.

Alice Prin tunnettiin 1920-luvun Pariisissa paremmin taiteilijanimellä Kiki. Hän toimi niin laulajattarena kuin mallina monille aikakauden suurimmista "kadotetun sukupolven" taiteilijoista, ollen samanaikaisesti niin heidän rakastajattarensa ja innoittajansakin. Suuri yleisö tuntee kaiketi Kikin parhaiten amerikkalaisen M
...more
Joe
Please permit me to post a rough translation from French to English of an excellent Goodreads review written by Amélie Panneton:
This comic-brick is a whirlwind of faces, festivals, paintings, love affairs, music & afternoons on the terrace.

It is stunning.

It is mainly the story of Alice Prin, who arrived in Paris as a teenager & became in the 1920s one of the most in-demand models in Montparnasse, pampered by the artists of the Parisian avant-garde. Kiki, as soon nicknamed, is colorful, n
...more
Roy
First this is a "Graphic Biography," meaning comic book-style. Do you like Graphic Novels?
Do you enjoy stories like "La vie en rose" -- the biopic of Edith Piaf (1915-1963)? This is a similar story. "A lower-class outcast forced to fend for herself," now viewed as an "independent woman who was ahead of her time." Kiki de Montparnasse (Alice Ernestine Prin, 1901-1953) led a similar life but a decade earlier - in the 1920's. Kiki's associates were the avant-garde artists of Montparnasse (Parisian
...more
Thomas
This is the life story of Kiki, a famous model, singer and bon viveur born in 1901 Paris. She leads a tumultuous and emotional existence, and although she’s not always the most likable character, it’s very difficult not to root for her when she’s facing hardships or being mistreated by others. It can get quite sad with her jumping into and out of relationships with friends, as is the ending, which you have to expect from a story taking you from the birth to the death of a person.

The book felt ve
...more
Adilson
Justamente por ler bastante sobra pouco tempo para escrever a respeito, e sempre há muito o que dividir sobre as descobertas aventurescas de tais leituras. A graphic novel Kiki de Montparnasse, com desenhos de catel Muller e cenários de José Louis Bocquet é uma boa dica para quem deseja apreciar um competente trabalho de pesquisa aliado a um traço competente que retrata a belle époque dos dandys e da incipiente emancipação do "bello sexo" - dos "almofadinhas" e das "melindrosas" como eram chamad ...more
Barrett
If you've known me for any length of time, you know that i have a have a serious love of the avant-garde movements of the early 20th century, particularly Dada and Surrealism. I may have written my first high school term paper on the movement. And i may have written one or two more in college on the Russian avant-garde. Imagine my delight when i found this graphic novel in my library's stacks. And imagine my shame that I had never heard of Kiki before. I recognized Man Ray's Le Violon d'Ingres o ...more
Lindsay
Not being quite the arty type, I was introduced to and fell in love with Man Ray's work during an art appreciation class my freshman year of college. I melted when I got to see a lot of his work in the flesh at an amazing Surrealist exhibit at the Met in 2002. "Le Violon d'Ingres" has adorned the background of my MP3 player ever since I got it five years ago. His output with Kiki de Montparnasse as his muse remains some of my favorite work of his, but never have I come across anything about the ...more
Suvi
Kiki was a gorgeous woman, and considering the artists she was consorting with, I was expecting a more experimental style. Sure, this is a biography, and I did like some of the more detailed backgrounds, but maybe a bit more unusual approach art-wise would have made Kiki's world a bit more multifaceted. The relationship between artists and their muses could also have been explored a bit more. The whole thing just fell flat for me, even though it wasn't bad per se.
Luís Henrique
A história é fluída e muito bem contada. Me impressionou a boa expressão e fidelidade dos personagens, que num desenho despojado e até certo ponto "tosco" combina muito bem com a narrativa e a época que se propõe a narrar.
A história se passa nos anos loucos de Paris, e conta a história de Kiki, modelo e amante de alguns artistas da época. Nesta história está alguns artistas que gosto particularmente, como Man Ray, que foi parceiro e amante de Kiki por alguns anos.
A forma como o quadrinho, de ce
...more
Malene Hald
Kiki fra Mont­par­nasse er noget af en tour de force. Det er for det før­ste en orden­lig svend af en teg­ne­se­rie og sam­ti­dig er den histo­risk kor­rekt. Den for­tæl­ler histo­rien om Kiki, som blev muse for kunst­nere, især for Man Ray, mel­lem­krig­sti­dens fete­rede fotograf.

Histo­rien fæn­ger med det samme og man lever side om side med Kiki i hen­des utro­lige liv.
James Eckman
What an odd graphic novel, Kiki is a real life left bank of Paris artiste who had many famous lovers and friends. She was a very free spirit, her autobiography was banned in the US for many years. Yet another interesting perspective on the roaring '20s. Extensive bio notes and bibliography. Note this is an adult graphic novel...
Alexandra
A tragicomic about the life of Alice Prin, aka Kiki, artist, artistic muse, singer, dancer, lover, and many more titles. Her life as part of the Parisian art scene of the early 20th century comes across as a comedy, tragedy, and love affair with the city and its resident artists, Kiki's love of life and excess ultimately making her famous, infamous, and everything in between. The art within the book is black and white, deceptively simple as there's always something going on in each panel. It bri ...more
Dustyloup
la couverture m'a appellé depuis longtemps. J'ai résisté mais l'autre jour goodreads m'a conseillé ce livre donc voilà je le trouve à la bibliothèque et fini 2/3 avant de partir! j'y connaissais rien à propos de kiki avant de lire ce livre et ça m'a emporté dans son monde tourbillonnant. ça m'a plue - 4.5 etoiles
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Little José-Louis was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine on 28 August 1962 and became passionate about good comic strips so quickly that at the age of 13, he founded Bizu, his own fanzine. He then established various illustrated anthologies for Bédérama, offering compilations of work by authors such as Franquin, Binet and Andréas.

To satisfy hi
...more
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