Marie-Leontine – Comic Book Review
Follow Genre: History
Written by: Zidrou, Raphaël Beuchot
Illustrations: Raphaël Beuchot
Coloring: Raphaël Beuchot, Sarah Murat
Publisher: Le Lombard

Marie-Leontine – Comic Book Review

Site Score
Good: Brings an important topic to the attention
Bad: The comic book could have sent a stronger message, despite the extra info that is given
User Score
(0 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Zidrou and Raphaël Beuchot teamed up together again for their latest album Marie-Leontine. Their previous album De Platenspeler, which we reviewed about a year ago, was somewhat based on the life of famous violin player, yet this one is, even though also based on real life, completely different. Rather than focusing on one existing person’s life, the comic book wants to draw your attention to one specific custom: female genital mutilation. It’s a hefty subject, yet one worth the attention.

Marie Leontine1

Yue is a Chinese worker in Congo, working for a company that is in the tree cutting business. He has a girlfriend Antoinette, a Congolese woman with a daughter Marie-Leontine and a little son called Leopold. When he’s not working, Yue tries to spend all of his time with them. Nonetheless, he has to be careful because if he gets caught, his boss will send him straight back to China, which would leave him without a job, and without his love. The children are very fond of him and are happy whenever he comes to take their mother out on a date. This time, they are going to the theatre, and afterwards they have dinner. To top off the evening, Yue brings Antoinette home, and they have sex. When Yue starts to kiss her over her entire body, she suddenly snaps. Eventually she’s brave enough to tell him what’s going on, and shows him the genital mutilation she had to undergo as a child.

Yue talks about it to his coworkers, who tell him that it is very common in Africa and in some other places around the world as well. It’s often even women that do this to girls. For a while, Yue doesn’t really know what to do, but when he finally visits Antoinette again, she shows him the scratch book she’s been drawing in. The illustrations show her as a little girl, but also show pain and loneliness. The wounds are still deep, which is why she will do anything in her power for Marie-Leontine to not have to undergo this painful and unnecessary procedure.

Female genital mutilation is a very heavy subject to be talking about in a comic book. It’s definitely something that is worth being talked about, and it’s good that people get more aware of the problem. This comic book is a good way to start, even though the story itself seems to be going a bit off road. It’s more a story about the relationship between Yue and Antoinette, where genital mutilation definitely has a part, but doesn’t seem to be the most important. Somehow, even though it is definitely present, it doesn’t really come across as something so omnipresent. It’s only when reading the extra information at the back of the comic book that it really starts to sink in how important it is to raise awareness. This means that the overall story is nice enough, but feels a bit unnecessary to bring the strong message they want to bring.

The illustrations look very simple and basic. It’s probably a love or hate thing, but we felt like the ‘unrealistic’ drawing style also adds to the message not sinking in that well. Other than that, the backgrounds often look very simple, but the drawing style together with the muted color palette give the comic book a bit of a somber look, which does fit the story.


All in all, Marie-Leontine has a storyline that is quite simple, yet interesting enough, but it just seems a bit like a lost opportunity to highlight the problem of female genital mutilation. The info at the end of the album will however open up your eyes and make it sink in. the illustrations look a bit somber, which is in line with the story, but the drawing style is probably not everyone’s cup of tea. In short, this whole album is either love or hate, but the extra information is definitely a plus, as it is something that everybody should be aware of.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.