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Beautiful Darkness

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  4,350 Ratings  ·  887 Reviews
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 highlig ...more
Hardcover, 94 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by Drawn and Quarterly (first published March 6th 2009)
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Reading,Writing,Repeat It was the FIRST THING that came to mind for me. :)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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this is without a doubt the darkest, sickest, most jaw-droppingly insane graphic novel i have ever read.

which is me paying a compliment

it's a book that explores that old philosophical thought experiment: if a little girl dies in the forest and no one is around to see it, do little fairytale characters crawl out of her head??

and if so, do they then find themselves with no idea where they are or what they are meant to do now and suddenly confronting many dangers from plants

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and each othe
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Beautiful Darkness begins with Prince Hector and Princess Aurora enjoying a spot of tea when all of a sudden the roof starts dripping all over them . . .

Houston commercial photography

If you’re anything like me you begin to wonder what the hell kind of house are they living in that has a roof that leaks splooshy red shit all over??? You then immediately regret asking that question . . .

Houston commercial photography

What the F*!?!?!?!?!

Houston commercial photography

The synopsis sums things up quite brilliantly. Beautiful
Beautiful Darkness
(Spoilers Ahead.)

Vehlmann and Kerascoet have created a fully-painted, sugar-coated nightmare. It's an anti-fable, reminding us that underneath the beauty, life is pointless, brutal and absurd. Sounds like fun, right? Well, it's my kind of fun. People seem fairly split on the merits of 'Beautiful Darkness', which is to be expected. There's no real moral to this story, no shiny little wisdom you'll want to save or pass on to the kids. In fact, it's probably best you keep your kid
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of creepy dolls and Grimm's grimmest
Alice in Wonderland meets Lord of the Flies!

I LOVED this horrifically DARK fairy tale where adorable ragamuffins turn on one another in an effort to stay alive (or occasionally, just for the hell of it!)

Never has murder, cannibalism and vengeance been so fetching! Or so gorgeously rendered!




I honestly can't think of anything I've ever read that's been so utterly charming and so wholly disturbing. In case you missed it before - this is DARK. Very, very DARK! (So don't come crying to me if you have
Oct 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: have-read
I don't get the positive reviews. I thought the graphic novel had awesome ideas - but it was very poorly executed. The novel does NOT have a story, it does NOT explain, it does NOT have an ending & it does NOT satisfy.

I waited months for this (the translation) - and was deeply disappointed... This is only enjoyable if you are easily satisfied by art and some horror 'quirks' that lead to nowhere.

I give this three stars, only because I did see potential and felt the love of the author for his
Jan Philipzig
I guess this is supposed to be the disturbing and darkly postmodern deconstruction of "happily ever after." The story has its moments (the utterly ruthless behavior of the self-absorbed bully princess), but overall I found it a bit pointless. Does "happily ever after" really still need to be deconstructed?
May 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: art
I'm trying to figure out how I feel about Beautiful Darkness. It's like Lord of the Flies with illustrations that disarm you with charm and then blindside you with gruesome.

The story features a cast of characters that make up the imaginary world inside a young girl's mind. Within the first couple pages, the characters are evicted, and are forced into the real world. At first, the naivety with which they explore their new world is cute, but soon their childlike exploration turns dark as the char
Sam Quixote
Mar 20, 2015 rated it liked it
From The Brothers Grimm to Disney, fairy tales have been sanitised to appeal to all ages - family-friendly entertainment! - except, as most people know, they had very dark origins. Stories like Beauty and the Beast and Rapunzel featured “grown up” themes even though fairy tales, until the 19th century, were consumed mainly by adults.

Beautiful Darkness is writer Fabien Vehlmann and artist Kerascoet’s subversive take on the well-defined genre as little people living inside a young girl escape whe
Eddie Watkins
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga-comics
A post-apocalyptic tale rendered in sweetly childlike images, but only at first glance, as upon closer inspection even this sweetness is thoroughly tainted with rot and evil and infectious swelling.

My wife bought this for my daughter but when she looked closer she decided it was for me.

A playful family interior scene is suddenly disrupted by dark red blobs oozing from above, which continue to ooze engulfing the entire space. The family evacuates, and then it’s an entire community, an entire po
Steve Cooper
Dec 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kerascoët, French illustrator duo Marie Pommepuy (b. 1978) and Sébasten Cosset (b. 1975), started drawing comics in 2002 with a couple of Donjon Crépuscule stories by Sfar:


They then began Miss Pas Touche in 2006 with Hubert and a clearer line:


In 2009 Jolies Ténèbres came out, and artistically it marked a further move toward claire ligne with coloring sometimes substituted for line-shading:


By the way, I have confirmed that the Plim character above far-right is not, in fact, an eyebrow-shaven Cra
Nov 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
mmmkay, this is something else, people.
It's a sweet little story that snaps your head off at the end.
It's a disarmingly charming world that flips into some very dark places.
It's definitely not for kids.

These cute little beings are horrifying to each other. The forest is a brutal place. You can make your home in the most repugnant locations. Just because something is adorable does not mean it is not capable of the worst.

The execution is beautiful - it really goes well with the mood of the piece.
Seth T.
Nov 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoët

What can you say about a work you can’t be sure you understood, a communication garbled in translation? Would it be fair to judge such a thing at all? If I see a movie but am mystified as to what happened in it or what it meant, it’s hardly fair for me to say either that it was great or horrible. I might as well talk about how I felt about the latest Takeshi Miyazawa piece despite the fact that my cataracts[1] make actually seeing the work with any clarity impossible. If I don’t understand the t
At the midway point in this graphic novel I was still smiling. It sort of clipped me upside the head as I read, and though it drew blood, I still thought it might be a little cute. I didn't really like the story--it seemed a bit grim--but... I thought it was going to come around.

The authors (it would have to be two, one couldn't bear that dark vision alone, for long) are making a comment on man's seemingly infinite capacity for evil--really banal, thoughtless evil. It hurts, this vision, because
Aug 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
The artwork for this graphic novel is stunning and whimsical, but the story itself is dark and gruesome. Definitely one of the more disturbing stories I've read. However, the message and critique of polite society are clear, and it'll have me contemplating the meaning behind the ending and various scenes for awhile.
Farel Dalrymple
Jun 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
this might be the best comic have read so far this year.
Mar 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoët's savagely allegorical Bande dessinée, a whole imagination's worth of metaphorical fairyish manifestations suddenly and shockingly find themselves without the comfort of their vessel, exposed to the elements, nature (red in tooth and claw) and most horrifying of all, themselves.
Beautiful Darkness is the human condition writ tiny, as each of the now homeless cartoon-like pixies represents a facet of our many constituent tics and behaviours, from narcissism to pra
David Schaafsma
I don't know what people are talking about when they call this an "anti-fairytale". Most fairy tales are dark, and this is in many ways no darker than many… Neil Gaiman, among others in contemporary times, reminds us of the thin line between horror and fantasy. Think the Bros. Grimm if you want grim fairy tales, right? This one, that others tell me takes a page from classical children's tale The Borrowers, looks mostly lighthearted and (as others have noted) Moomin-like cute, shifts quickly to d ...more
Liz Janet
Jan 28, 2016 rated it liked it
The process of reading this book:

OMG!!! Look at all the adorbs!!! AWWWW...........

What the hell is this?

I am having nightmares tonight......


That was such a nice comic... Hey mama! You gotta read this!
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels, adult
What the hell was this?
Am I ok now? ARE WE ALL OK?
First of all, I have to make sure that I say that the artwork for this book is absolutely stunning, and that the book as a whole is beautiful.

Now for the more meaty stuff: I really enjoyed this. I had heard before I picked it up that it was a little bit dark and twisted, which I always like. The characters are fairy tale-esque and have been removed from their home and forced to live and re-build together (Sorry, that's vague; it's really all I can say without spoiling.) Some of the characters as
Jeff Jackson
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Set in the realm of fairy tales, complete with princes and princesses, this graphic novel is not what it seems at first blush. It's an exquisitely crafted story about a tribe of little people abandoned in the forest, detailing their casual violence and self-destructive maneuvers with a delicate touch. Illustrated like a children's book, it's a brutal and haunting experience, right down to the final caption.
Nov 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, comics
Just couldn't get into this, and it ultimately felt pointless. I don't think that books in general need to have a point, but I did feel like this one was trying mightily to make one, and failing utterly.
Brittany (UnderTheRadarBooks)
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
To be honest, I am not even sure what I just read. All I know is that it had an impact on me. Equal parts beautiful and repulsive, this graphic novel is impossible to describe and even more difficult to forget.
M. Ihsan Tatari
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tuhaf, acayip, sevimli, ürkütücü, şirin, kokunç... Bir karede içinizi ısıtırken, hemen sonrakinde kalbinizi donduruyor. Fena hâlde "karanlık" ve fena hâlde "güzel."
Isa Lavinia
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Unique, lovely, and one of the most unsettling things I have ever read.
selis şen
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4,5'dan 5.
I went in to this blind, only knowing the title and the cover. My reaction went something like this: "What the !(%*#)@%#(%"

Okay, so this book basically has no plot, resolution, or explanation and is more along the lines of a bunch of vaguely chronological, chaotic, disturbing scenes. If you liked David Sedaris' Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk you'll probably like this. I generally love weird and morbid things, however I came down on the side of not liking this because for me it was less deliciously cre
Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Lord of the Flies-ish, but instead of boys on an island, this is twee tiny creatures that have crawled out of the head of a dead child, which makes it much more unsettling. The artwork is lovely & chilling & there are some things that I've seen in this book that I can now unfortunately not unsee. I'm not sure if all of these horrible little people are supposed to be allegorical & I don't particularly care. This was gorgeously grotesque enough without knowing what it all means. I'm go ...more
I don't even know where to start. Wow....just...bloody hell. The illustrations are beautiful and disturbing. The Goodreads description compares the book to The Borrowers - The Borrowers in HELL, maybe.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Is Aurora...? Is the man...? (Spoilers) 1 30 Jan 17, 2016 09:58AM  
Fates of some characters? (Spoilers) 3 56 May 19, 2015 03:44PM  
Mrs. Eriksson's S...: Beautiful Darkness by Fabian Vehlmann 1 16 Aug 18, 2014 08:15PM  
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Usually uses the pseudonym Vehlmann

Fabien Vehlmann est comme son héros : pétillant, engagé et plein d'humour.

Après avoir patiemment suivi les cours d'une école de commerce nantaise, Fabien Vehlmann réalise que sa voie est ailleurs. Bien décidé à se lancer dans la bande dessinée, il se consacre à l'écriture de manière intensive durant une année entière. Il empile les projets et inonde scrupuleuseme
More about Fabien Vehlmann...

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