Today’s Things To Love Tuesday is my favouritest webcomic of all time: Megan Kearney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. I loved this very thoughtful, very intelligent, very philosophical version of the fairy tale before I ever met Megan, and now that I count Megan among my friends (and even better, colleagues as we’re in the forthcoming The Secret Loves of Geek Girls together), I appreciate the nuance of her work even more.
Funny story – Hope Nicholson (Bedside Press) invited me out to something called The Comic Book Embassy’s Ladies High Tea one day. I was on my way to a screening for something else, but it sounded super awesome, so I popped in for a cuppa and some incredible chats. I cannot recommend this group of ladies enough, they are all wonderful. I spent some time talking to Megan, not knowing who she was, and then got up to go to the bathroom. As I passed her desk, I saw sketches and books laid out and … GASP. They were for that webcomic I loved!
I jammed my finger down on the book and shouted, “WAIT, THIS IS YOU?? I LOVE YOU EVEN MORE NOW! HOLD ON, I GOTTA PEE.”
Luckily, Megan has never held that against me.One of the fantastic things about this telling of the tale as old as time is that the romance aspect of the story isn’t the main focus. Yes, Beauty is pretty, but she is not an object to be manipulated or won by the Beast in order to attain his own salvation – she is not something to check off his list on the way to becoming human again, nor the prize at the bottom of his Mainpain Cereal box.
Both Beauty and Beast are inquisitive, curious, well rounded people who are trying to make the best of what they are. The allegory for the Beast as a representation of Anxiety, Bi Polar Disorder and Clinical Depression can be made, but it would be reductionist and disingenuous. Beast is a person in and of himself, and blessedly, so is Beauty.
I already own volume one of this fantastic book in trade paperback, and I cannot wait for volume two to be released.