Untamed Vol. 1: Stories of women who do what they want to | Review


Published on Mar 20, 2018


In recent years, the cartoons and illustrations are widely discussing the role of women in history and in the present, fighting loudly in the name of feminism and equal rights. Is there anyone who uses bright tones and polemical, others more laid that exploit the way of humor: the case of the first volume of the Wild – Stories of women who do what they want, published on the French blog Les Culottées of Penelope Bagieu, one of the fumettiste French notes of the last generation (the author of titles such as Joséphine and California Dreamin’).

Proposed in Italy by Bao Publishing on the occasion of the International Day of Woman, Untamed will collect in two volumes with all the stories from the blog, starting from the first fifteen: fifteen stories, fifteen women from different ages, cultures and backgrounds different to offer a panorama the more heterogeneous as possible, from Ancient Greece to the age of musicals in hollywood and beyond.

What emerges from the Untamed is that feminism is not only a global battle, but above all the staff: many of the women related by Bagieu not want to improve the entire world (some, however, yes, as the pacifist Leymah Gbowee), but simply find their way and satisfy their passions and ambitions (such as Nzinga, queen of the african kingdom of Angola, and, thanks to its diplomatic action was able to remove the oppressors from the Portuguese), and accept each other for who you are (as Clémentine Delait, the bearded lady”).

What that, in reality, it is often not “simple”. Not it was that of Agnodice, a woman of athens who managed to become a doctor, only disguising as a man, and not even for Josephina Van Gorkum, who only wanted to be buried next to her husband; not to mention Christine Jorgensen, born in a male body, or Tove Jansson, the famous creator of the Mumin. Different destinies, different aspirations, different goals, are united by a single moral: women can do whatever they want!

These fifteen women are told in a few pages (about five facades for the character), and each of them is dedicated to an illustration in double-page. The story goes beyond a simple biography, didactic and, indeed, the Bagieu uses her dry sense of humour to give life to the narration and bring out the courage and determination of all the protagonists. This is not free however, the volume of the delicacy and respect required, especially for women, like the sisters Mirabal (killed during the dictatorship in the dominican republic Trujillo).

Untamed has the ambition to not be a “book for women”, but a “book for all”, and he succeeds. In addition, the edition, a hardback with a lot of details metallic (which is what justifies in part the cover price), it certainly deserves a place in the library, among the volumes most precious.

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