Elevate Difference

Miss Don’t Touch Me, Vol. 2

My knowledge of graphic novels is limited to having only read The Watchman. When you’re reading a book you imagine what the character looks like and maybe even the environment where she lives. When you experience a graphic novel, an interconnected array of words and colors awaits you much like what a child sees when looking at a picture book. I think it’s a fabulous genre and I look forward to reading more.

Miss Don’t Touch Me, Vol. 2, takes place in Paris in the 1930s. I recommend you read Miss Don’t Touch Me, Vol. 1, first, as there is good back story to the characters in Volume 2. Miss Don’t Touch Me, Vol. 2 centers on a frightened and nervous young woman named Blanche, who is overshadowed by her sister Agatha, a fun-loving free spirit who frequently goes out dancing. They both work as maids and are barely getting by financially. Blanche experiences a tragedy when someone very close to her is shot. She takes it upon herself to find the people responsible, which leads her to the Pompadour, a house of call girls. Blanche becomes a dominatrix and is given the name “Miss Don’t Touch Me,” because she is still a virgin and her male customers are not allowed to touch her.

The other prostitutes at the Pompadour are jealous of Blanche and are constantly bullying her, but she stands up for herself. Through Blanche’s eyes we see a division between the prostitutes and the people with all the money and power—who are often the prostitutes’ customers. In Blanche, we see an advocate for her friends that are abused or mistreated. She has a complicated relationship with her mother and she falls in love with a man who is struggling with his own sexual identity. Blanche grows from a nervous woman to someone who fights the male dominance and the power hungry individuals that threaten to bring her down. She is still frightened, but she works through her fears and tries to survive in a world that is very much against her.

The Miss Don’t Touch Me series is not for everyone and if you’re easily offended by images of men getting whipped or women being tied up, this is probably not the best introductory graphic novel. But if none of the above bothers you, then you will enjoy this strange—albeit entertaining—tale filled with horror, S&M, mystery, and romance.

Written by: Su Lin Mangan, March 23rd 2011

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