For many successful people, the main root of their accomplishment is the person who inspires them to keep pushing through no matter what. This idea is emphasized in the graphic novel “Beautiful Scars,” released April 2 by writers and illustrators Durwin S. Talon and E. Guin Thompson via publisher Archaia.
“Beautiful Scars” incorporates adventure and fairytale through colorful illustrations to define what it means to be inspired to tell a story. It is a narrative that covers almost every topic from adventure, love, fairytale, hope, courage and being confident in oneself.
“Beautiful Scars” starts off with the main character, Maddie, on her way to take her first published book to her grandfather, Ridley Shaw. The story then flashes back to her childhood and begins when Maddie went to visit her grandparents when she was a child.
On her visit with her grandfather is when she falls on the ground and cuts her knee. Maddie gets upset because of the scar it will turn into, and then Ridley tells her stories about his own scars and how he got them. The grandfather, and the comic book as a whole, expresses that scars add to the ways we hold onto memories and the stories those recollections bring make the scars worth it.
Ridley tells her how he got the scar on his knee, elbow and forehead. Through his stories, she learns to tell her own. This is shown to the reader through Maddie’s imaginative storytelling of her newly published book.
As the grandfather tells Maddie the stories about each of his scars, she uses his memories to make her own tales. She uses a woodsman, a princess and a troll to recreate her own magical stories.
The illustrations guide the reader through the stories the grandfather is explaining, and the parallel fairytale Maddie made up.
Something that made the graphic novel even more interesting was how each character in the fairytale represents someone from the stories the grandfather was telling, whether it was a person or an animate object. This made the story easier to follow and more entertaining to get interested in.
Although, while reading the tale, it may get confusing to decipher who is telling which story because it switches back and forth from the grandfather’s stories to the fantasy storyline. At first, it could seem like the grandfather is narrating both stories. However, as he narrates his real life stories, Maddie is narrating her own fairytale.
Yet the detailed drawings still made the comic even more intriguing than the story itself. With the adventurous fairyland stories Maddie told and the historical stories the grandfather spoke, the images helped to expand the storyline and add a sense of imagination that made the story worthwhile to read.
“Beautiful Scars” gives readers a heartwarming story by combining history and fantasy to accentuate imagination is equally as important as reality is. The story teaches readers their lives tell a story that should be told because stories are important, no matter who’s expressing them.
The narrative stresses the point that everyone’s lives tell a story, and these stories should be shared to those around them.
In the opening lines of the story, Maddie says, “We are surrounded by stories, but the best stories stand out. They can be epic tales, or everyday moments. But if stories are truly memorable, we can’t help but hold onto them. Cherish them. Share them.”
With a bittersweet ending, “Beautiful Scars” is a story that not only helps readers to want to share their stories and pursue their dreams; it is also a tribute to loved ones and those who continue to inspire.