UPDATE! AT the event Bagieu told me that “Culottes” will be published next year by First Second as Brazen. Yay!

Tonight at 7:30 I’m doing a book release event at the WORD Bookstore in Brooklyn with the amazing and talenrted Pénéope Bagieu for the arrival of her GN California Dreamin’, a biography of Mama Cass Elliott. It’s a fascinating look at what it takes to get famous, told through the eyes of everyone around Elliot.

It’s not Bagieu’s first foray in biography. Although, alas  you must be fluent in french to read it, Culottes, (panties) is an ongoing series of mini bios of notable women, such as astronaut Mae Jemison,  philanthropist Peggy Guggenheim, activist Naziq al-Abid and many more. These are not your usual Marie Curie/Emily Dickenson bios, more deep cuts of remarkable women who deserve more attention. Even if you can’t read all the words,  Bagieu’s clean, charming style is delightful to behold and gives many insights on its own.

The series has been collected in French,  maybe someone will pick it up for the US?





  1. Great news that it’s been picked up in English. In the meantime, check out the book Bagieu did that Internet sensation Boulet wrote, “Blank Slate.” Or, if you want an autobiographical thing, try three volumes of “Josephine.” Funny stuff.

    They’re all available in English now through EuropeComics at both comiXology and Izneo.

    (I have reviewed both, of course, at PipelineComics.com and they’re both great.)

  2. The French title is Culottées, not culottes, which translates (colloquial) to bold, audacious, gutsy.
    The panties analogy doesn’t work, since in French history, culottes were for men exclusively (they disappeared during revolutionary times, after which French men wore trousers, which were longer).
    Women used to wear jupons at the same time, which are kind of panties but knee-length.

    You should definitely check Augie’s site, it’s definitely worth it for euro comics reviews.

  3. BTW the expression ‘culotté’ has nothing to do with panties, it comes from ‘culot’ which is the bottom part of a pipe, of a lightbulb or of a shellcasing, that part is expected to be particularly tough. It’s been extended to someone who displays exceptional resilience towards adversity.
    When interviewed on French TV for this book last month, Bagieu herself didn’t know where the expression was from, or that it didn’t apply to women. Probably a confusion with another expression ‘porter la culotte’ which means something else entirely.
    Nonetheless, these 2 volumes are great, check them out.

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