Comic Book / Muse

Muse, also titled Songes: Coraline, is a Humanoids published French graphic novel written by Denis-Piere Filippi and with art by Terry Dodson.

The story is set in The Edwardian Era of France and follows Coraline Doucet, a beautiful young woman who was recently hired to serve as governess to Sir Vernère, a mysterious and eccentric inventor of Steam Punk contraptions who, much to Coraline's surprise, turns out to be a young boy. Other character's include Ekborn, a handyman, and Miss. Guérande, a maid who helps Coraline get adjusted to her stay at Vernère's chateau.

Still though, getting adjusted to life in the chateau is proving to be rather difficult. The residence holds many mysteries, Vernère's personality makes him hard to work with and if that wasn't enough, at nights Coraline has extremely vivid dreams that take her to all sorts of weird places.

The first volume was released only in France in 2006 under the title Songes: Coraline tome 1 and after many delays tomes 2 was released fall of 2012. For the U.S and the rest of Europe both volumes are combined and released under the title Muse.

This graphic novel provides examples of:

  • Actually, I Am Him: The job notice was pretty unclear and Ekborn and Guérande are very cryptic as far as what type of person Sir Vernère is. So naturally Coraline is surprised to learn that the inventor of all the strange devices around the chateau is actually a young boy.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Twice Coraline awakens from her dreams after both men who save her try to sexually assault her and she slaps them.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Coraline seems to inspire lust with most of the men she's meets. Ekborn takes pervy photos of her without her knowledge and most of the men in her dreams try to have their way with her.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Vernère, who spends most of his time inventing and reading books. He actively avoids anything remotely childlike and hates being treated like a child.
  • Bamboo Technology: In her second dream, Coraline is saved from a Cannibal Tribe by a Nature Hero in a wooden Mini-Mecha.
  • Barely-There Swimwear: Averted when Coraline wears a very modest swimsuit, but she notes that it's borrowed from Guérande since the one Ekborn left for her was too revealing.
  • Berserk Button: Treating Vernère like a child or suggesting he do something childlike is a very good way to make him angry. During a slow dance, Coraline's dress and height difference between her and Vernère make it hard to dance with him so she pick him up. Vernère immediately demands to be put down and storms off.
  • Captured by Cannibals: The island natives in Coraline's second dream who find her washed ashore and try to make stew out of her.
  • Child Prodigy: Vernère's inventions are well beyond what a child should be able to accomplish and well beyond the era the story takes place.
  • Damsel in Distress: Coraline can't seem to catch a break in her dreams. In her first dream she gets captured by pirates and is saved by the captain. In her second dream she's captured by cannibal island natives and is save by a Nature Hero.
  • Forbidden Zone: Vernère tells Coraline that she's not allowed to enter his workshop nor should she go into the woods, as it's dangerous there. There's other areas of the chateau, Coraline is not allowed to enter without Vernère permission.
  • Friend to All Living Things: While Coraline waits in the forest for Vernère to return with another one of his inventions, woodland creatures flock to her. Unfortunately, Vernère tree house machine scare's them off.
  • Going Commando: The night after every dream Coraline wakes up with her panties mysteriously gone.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Coraline's dreams start with her opening her closet, which in her dreams is a doorway to the Caparrelli brothers' clothing store. The two brothers make her beautiful outfits fitting for the era the rest of her dreams take place in.The outfits rarely last long. In the real world her closet was already filled with fancy clothes just for her before she settled in the chateau.
  • Lingerie Scene: Coraline wears a very translucent babydoll as nightwear.
  • Loin Cloth: All of the natives on the island in Coraline's second dream wear only loin clothes, this includes the females as well. Coraline has to wear one after she's saved from the natives who stripped her before trying to cook her.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: In her second dream Coraline finds a treasure chest not far from where she is washed ashore. In it are clothes, more specifically the skimpy swimsuit Ekborn got her.
  • Magical Nanny: Coraline is trying to be one to Vernère. She hopes by interacting with him she can to get him out of his hermit lifestyle and have him behaving like a normal child his age.
  • Mechanical Horse: Another one of Vernère's inventions are robotic horses. He and Coraline ride them around the manor.
  • Male Gaze: There are a lot of panels with Coraline's sizable cleavage in full display.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Coraline provide fanservice by the truckloads. She's frequently drawn from provocative angles, wears a lot of cleavage-baring dresses, and there's the occasional nudity.
  • The Hermit: Vernère spends a lot of time reading or making inventions. Coraline is trying to distract him from those things so he can behave like a normal boy.
  • Of Corset Hurts: Coraline complains that the Corseted dress the Caparrelli brothers make for her is too tight, but they tell her it's supposed to be like that.
  • Opera Gloves: Coraline wears these in a couple of scenes with formal dress, as was proper during The Edwardian Era.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: It's not clear whether or not Coraline's dreams are actually real. For instance, in her second dream Coraline applies apricot scented ointment on her body. When she awakens from the dream she notices the strange lingering smell of apirocot
  • Sinking Ship Scenario: In her second dream, Coraline finds herself falling from sinking passenger liner.
  • Swashbuckler: Coraline's first dream plays out like a pirate movie. She's transported to a royal British navy ship under siege by pirates. The pirates capture her, take her to their ship, and were about to have their way with her only to be stopped by their dashing looking captain. Unfortunately the captain only rescues her to take her to the captain quarters to try to have sex with her.