I don’t know anything about this comic strip author, Wolsinki. I found the book at my local library’s bookstore and was immediately tempted by the mix of relationships and sex. The fact that it’s French promised a unique take on both, so I simply had to take the chance.
Bizarrely, it’s both titillating and slightly offensive. On the one hand, it’s exciting to read all sorts of attitudes and approaches, but, on the other, the material is often mired in an old school sexism and gender roles. And, frequently, some grotesque happenings are tossed at the reader casually, as if there were something funny about them – and I found this carelessness troubling.
One gets the sense that all the casual sex is meant to draw in the reader more than anything else, because much of the material revolves around sociopolitical commentary more so than about sex per se or relationships in general (case-in-point, there are tons of strips that take place in bed, but that have the couple spewing various political views at each other).
Unfortunately, the sociopolitical commentary is lost on me. The politics, in particular, relate to France very tightly and, thus, without some grasp of French politics, is difficult to get into. As for the more social topics, it’s broader, but I nonetheless found it more culturally relevant to France.
As for the artwork, it varies from functional to sloppy. It’s not great, and I suspect that it’s all done very quickly. I don’t know if these strips are published daily in a newspaper, but that’s the vibe I’m getting at first glance. I’ve seen better doodles in high school – and yet, from what I can see, Wolinski’s been at this for decades now.
All in all, it’s an intriguing mix, even if it didn’t do anything for me. I wonder if it’s just this particular book (authors all have their more inspired phases… maybe this isn’t one of them!), or if it’s indicative of Wolinski’s works in general. I may just try to find out.