"A Grief That Can’t Be Spoken" -by Sarah René Straub
My Les Misérables-inspired pinup illustration of the doomed students at the barricade. Featured in Image Comics’ Mice Templar IV: Legend #13.
This was a subject very close to my heart, as Les Miz happens to be my favorite musical. I remember watching the 10th anniversary concert on PBS with my parents. I remember memorizing every word of the 3-disc stage show soundtrack, singing it to myself in my bedroom.
When I was 16, I was supposed to see the stage play with my dad around Valentine’s day, but he passed away suddenly just a few days beforehand. I didn’t get to enjoy the stage show again until many years later on my 30th birthday, it came touring through town for the first time in years for just that one weekend, allowing me to enjoy it with the other man of my life (my husband).
So you can imagine my excitement when I was approached to create this illustration. I was asked to convey a sense of doom, using blood as symbolism rather than gore. Marius, as the only survivor, is depicted in warm tones against the cool-toned backdrop of his friends at the moment of their sacrifice. With Eponine, the later martyr for their cause, lifeless in his arms with an open palm, as the banner’s wave begins to run and the barricade fades to shadows.