Season of the Roses (“Saison des roses”), by Chloé Wary
Released a few weeks before the Women's World Cup began, Chloé Wary's lively graphic novel chronicles the challenges faced by a team of female football players from the Paris suburbs.
A passion born in the suburbs
Born in 1995, Chloé Wary grew up in the Paris suburbs. At around 12 years old, she began taking drawing classes at the Chilly-Mazarin House of Youth and Culture. It was this early passion that led her to enroll in a secondary school arts and illustration programme at the Lycée Auguste Renoir in Paris.
In 2017, she dedicated her first graphic novel, Conduite interdite (“No Driving”), to the struggle for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia. 2019 marks the release of her second graphic novel, Season of the Roses, which met with great public and critical success: she was 23 years old when it was published.
The everyday life of a team
The graphic novel reflects its author’s life: it takes place in the Paris suburbs, in an imaginary town called Rosigny-sous-bois. Immersed in a football team – broadly inspired the illustrator's experience training with the Wissous women's side – Season of the Roses follows Barbara, the captain, and her fight against a reduction of subsidies, ordered by the higher-ups for the benefit of... the men’s team.
Feminist Chloé Wary highlights a struggle with which she is intimately familiar: that of women in football.
A lively and colourful work of art
It was when she first watched Olivier Babinet’s film Swagger (2016) that Chloé Wary realised she needed to create work about the suburbs and the women who live there. She then met a football coach and joined a women's team, with the idea of dedicating her second graphic novel to this subject, which she studied closely.
The result, a few months later, was 264 pages of drawings, bright colours and lively dialogue which give her heroines a unique presence.
A graphic novel in competition
After writing about Saudi Arabia in her first graphic novel, Chloé Wary shifted her focus to the Greater Paris region. The author successfully met the challenge at hand: to showcase the dynamic life of neglected suburban towns.
In 2018, her debut work won an award at the L'Illu a La Frite competition; encouraged, she displayed her drawings at the Point Ephémère in Paris and continued to work until she released a second work in May 2019, just weeks away from the Women's World Cup.
Season of the Roses was praised by international critics and shortlisted for the 2019 ADAGP/Quai des Bulles Best Newcomer Award.