‘The Butcher of Paris #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

The premise of historical fiction has been a pervasive interest within the confines of culture. In many ways, it brings about a new form of information to those who participate in the reading. While it doesn’t demand work from the reader, it ignites something more important in the reader, something the modern education system consistently fails to do with a majority of its students: curiosity. Within the confines of Stefanie Phillips’ The Butcher of Paris, she launches us into a unique aspect of history that a myriad of history textbooks ignore.

While the setting is in a Nazi-occupied Paris of 1944, Phillips doesn’t just display the Paris of World War II, but offers the reader a new lens into this history. While most narratives just offer a fictionalized take on someone living in an occupied space, Phillips manages to recreate the atmosphere. With this historical vantage point, she not only enlightens readers of a mood, but the prescience lingers into our modern day. The story of Marcel Petiot is not one of victims, but of another kind of monster within 1944 Paris. With the Nazis serving as a blanket villain for the series, Petiot serves as the sole monster that comments on the complicity people give to an atrocity. This, in many ways, serves to impact the reader, especially within America after the mass shooting of a synagogue that occurred in 2018.

This series is serving to enlighten the reader about the individual horrors that occurred during World War II. A paired effect by artist Dean Kotz and colorist Jason Wordie, there is a consistent use of color and light throughout the issue that serve to properly display this subtle narrative. In many ways, this series is not about dramatizing chiaroscuro, but instead employs the color palette of the era. The sepia-toned colors along with the cartoon style found in much of the propaganda of this time managed to truly drop us into this ecosystem. This act of enlightenment services the paranoia and fear that were pervasive during the time.


Creative Team:  Writer: Stephanie Phillips, Artist: Dean Kotz, Coloring: Jason Wordie, Letterers: Troy Peteri, Cover Artist: Dave Johnson  
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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