Heart in a Box (TP)

Dark Horse

Release Date: (in trade) 9/16/15

Words: Kelly Thompson

Pictures: Meredith McClaren

The Sitch:

From the Dark Horse description:

When the Man with No Name breaks Emma’s heart, she wants to die. But you never die from these things; you just want to. In a moment of weakness, she wishes her broken heart away and a mysterious stranger–who may or may not be totally evil–obliges. But emptiness is even worse than grief, and Emma sets out to collect the seven pieces of her heart spread across the country, a journey that forces her to face her own history and the cost of recapturing it, and leads inevitably to a confrontation with the Man with No Name himself!

The Confession:

It’s a simple enough concept. Obviously, Heart in a Box is a metaphor for life and heartbreak. This is all a given. What isn’t a given is how heartfelt and sincere this story is. Thompson has created a beautiful story that at once is painful but heals more than anything. I must confess that I love when these seemingly small fantasy stories get inside the core of my feels and force my usually cynical and dead heart to start beating again. That’s magic. Thompson is my new storytelling crush.

McClaren’s art has a bit of a Manga influence. She has a gift with depicting human emotion, the eyes in particular are very expressive. I love how, though a bit cartoonish in a good way, her character designs are super real, too. Her use of color is harmonious, flowing and changing with emotions in the same way sadness and joy flow in and out of our own personal real life stories. She makes the passage of time look almost tangible. It really is a beautiful book.

Heart in a Box is the kind of book you want to cuddle up with on a Sunday morning. I also would love to buy several copies of this book to give to friends for when some inevitable heartbreak comes along. Life happens. Why not make it a little more beautiful by getting this book for yourself or someone else?

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Silk #1

Marvel

Release Date:  2/18/15

Words:  Robbie Thompson

Pictures:  Stacey Lee

The Sitch:

Having been bitten by the same radioactive spider that bit Peter Parker in the first arc of Amazing Spider-Man as well as having spent time traversing through the Spider-verse alongside Spider-Woman, Cindy Moon is on her own in New York City.  Cindy is searching for her past and defining her future, while “webbing up wrong-doers” as Silk.

The Confession:

Finally I am inspired to get excited about comics again.  I mean really excited, like the day I was given that tattered box full of old comics from my dad.  The world of comics has not always been so considerate of the female readership.  We had to make do with the exploitation of the women depicted in comics (Duh, the ridiculousness of revealing costumes?  Please, how could a girl keep her identity secret in a mask and a ribbon barely covering her naughty bits and at the same time kick some major ass?) and the blatant disrespect (Uh, I don’t think I have to explain the “Women in Refrigerators” phenomenon, do I?  Google it.) of our roles in stories.  Being a mother to two growing girls I’m appalled that this is still an issue.  Imagine my joy when I stumble upon more and more of these comics for girls to enjoy without that tickling feeling of exclusion us older ladies felt in the not-so-distant past!  Also, I have to say, there cannot be enough good Asian female superheroes.  The little Asian girl in me is seriously happy right now.

But I digress…

Silk #1 – I’m sold. Intrigued even.

Sure, it’s not completely original.  Silk’s life mirrors her male predecessor in many ways, same radioactive spider, family issues, working her day job at the Daily Bugle, and the general struggle with balancing normal life and superhero life.  Maybe that will be enough to grab the interest of both longtime readers of comics and those just beginning.  She does gets a strong and respectable introduction by a relatively unknown team of creators. In fact, I did not know that Robbie Thompson is a writer of TV’s Supernatural until after I read the issue.  It made sense that while I was reading it, it felt pleasantly familiar.  There are little treasures of smart snark sprinkled throughout which made the story move forward quickly with an already established and easily investable heroine.  I like that.

The art by Stacey Lee gives the book a youthful vibe. It’s a bit cartoony but with a lot more emotion in regards to characterization.  It’s almost manga-ish and almost realistic-ish, if that makes any sense.  Basically, it is simply pretty to look at, fluid and fun to follow, and gives enough whimsy to the the action to hook all levels and types of comic book lovers.

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Get Silk on your pull list now.