Publisher: Oni Press
Available: April 20, 2016
The story had me from “…I’ve been dying all my life.”
Heartthrob is a 1970’s love story; a boy-meets-girl tale. The disco fashions are rampant, and smoke hangs in the air. The only thing that sets it apart is the girl was born with a heart defect, and the boy is her donor. And he’s not really a boy; more of a man with a past. What makes their love work is that she can see him.
Chris Sebela likes a good crime spree, and this book is the begining of a really epic spree. Callie has been isolated and disregarded her whole life because of her congenital heart defect. She always had to watch and not participate in life, and it’s soured her on the whole experience. Once she receives Mercer’s heart she realizes that now is the time to live. Sebela takes these two not-so-likable characters – the whiny “the whole world’s against me” Callie and thief/con man Mercer – and somehow makes you care about them. Having Mercer inside her means that Callie has someone with her who knows her inside and out, and yet motivates her to do things she’d never have done without him. Is it a good thing? Time will tell.
Robert Wilson’s art is a good counterpoint to the story. You get all of the fashions of the 1970’s, but not falsely so. He isn’t give a LOT of action in this first part of the story, so all of the brilliance is focused on angles and facial expressions. There’s an influence of Love and Rockets, and even some Underground Comix (NSFW) in these pages, and it serves the story very very well, enhanced by Nick Filardi’s moody colors. Callie’s regular life is limited in palette, her past is even more muted, but her life influenced by Mercer is warm and vivid.
The end of the book promises more mayhem to come, and don’t we all need a little more mayhem in our lives? Let’s start living!