Review: Radium Girls

Author/Artist: Cy
Publisher: Glenat
Released: August 26, 2020
Received: NetGalley

The odds are good that you’ve heard of the Radium Girls (Ghost Girls’), at least in passing. This is the true story of those women and everything they went through. Written and illustrated by Cy, Radium Girls gives their story a voice and visual elements.

It all began in 1918, with a bunch of women happily working together at a local watch factory. Their job was simple: they needed to paint the watch faces on. Their nickname, ‘ghost girls, ‘ stemmed from the glowing powder that would stick to their lips and later make their skin glow faintly – like a ghost.

We all know how tragic their story ends as they slowly die from radiation poisoning. Yet this telling gives them a voice and allows some of their happier moments to shine through alongside all of the bad.

I’ve read this story before, and yet there was something so powerful in the way that Cy portrayed it here. I think the art style had a lot to do with it. The colors are beautiful, but they are also ethereal. It was sobering and yet uplifting all in one.

I love that Cy made a choice to include happier moments alongside the bad. These moments yet their personalities shine so beautifully, and I think those are the moments we need to remember. We need to remember who these women were – not just what was done to them.

Thanks to Glenat and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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