Day ??: Exquisite Corpse

Exquisite Corpse by Pénélope Bagieu

Zoe’s life sucks. She works at a product representative at conventions (aka a booth babe), a job she hates, and goes home to a disinterested boyfriend who farts in the bed. Unlike her co-workers, who are putting themselves through school, she has not real ambition, and feels in a rut. When eating lunch in a park one day, she notices a man peaking at her from his apartment window. She more or less forces her way into his apartment to use his bathroom. The man, Thomas, is convinced she knows his secret, but after determining that she has no idea who he is, he invites her to return.

There are a few twists, and it’s a fun story, but what I truly love are Zoe’s facial expressions. Compared to the other characters, she has big eyes, and Bagieu uses them effectively. Pleading, coy, angry, dismissive. So much of the story is told in her expressions, and in particular how Thomas reacts to them. And Bagieu gives those expressions space. She uses silence, and draws out a moment both for emphasis and for comedy.

And now, just a ton of examples.

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