Clementine, a young teen in France, is discovering that she’s becoming more and more attracted to Emma, a woman that she had initially bumped into on the street. What develops from that is a beautiful coming of age story about discovering love, life and one’s own sexuality. Originally published in French as Le bleu est une couleur chaude, it was recently developed into a film which won the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes film festival.
This was a beautiful story told and illustrated by Maroh. The graphics are detailed and delicate, sometimes with a sketchbook feel. Many pages are left colourless except for the moments that feature the colour blue in Clementine’s life. The dialogue utilizes a different font than the oft used one in graphic novels, which was a great touch to the overall effect even if, at times, it was quite small to easily read it.
The point of view that Maroh conveys is one from mainly Clementine’s eyes, and diary entries. It allows the reader so much honesty and insight into a young girl discovering something about herself that many would not, and do not, easily accept. In the same vein of openess, Maroh does not shy away from the more intimate moments between the lovers either. For this reason, it is why I’d recommend it for mature audiences. She’s very upfront and uninhibited with their sexuality and writes a heartbreaking story about their trials and tribulations dealing with people who don’t understand.
Blue is the Warmest Color is a fantastic graphic novel that touches on some very relevant issues. While the lead-up to the ending seemed a bit abrupt, the overall effect is haunting.