Comic Review: My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies (Image)

Inject this one into your reading list: My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies, from Image. OUR comic heroes, some of us would admit, have usually been writers who can write […]

Inject this one into your reading list: My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies, from Image.

OUR comic heroes, some of us would admit, have usually been writers who can write strong characters. Characters who are human, and make us feel something while living from panel to panel. Writers who are accompanied by artists who can also breathe life into these characters, fill the story with hope, promise, pain, truth, lies, and the usual conceits of the craft: draw good people, and color the pages so we are entertained but not distracted. These are not oil paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, these are story panels, carrying and lifting us along for the ride. It’s the Disneyworld of classic storytelling: the Fast Pass that excites us, makes us want to read good stuff, faster!

It’s all good here in MHHABJ. Ed Brubaker on words, with visual music by Sean Phillips, and with colors by Jacob Phillips. The story? Ellie, an addict. Skip, an addict. Both in rehab. Reluctantly. They bond, and then the trouble starts. Ellie is wilful, with poor impulse control. Skip is easily influenced. The rest? Just jump in and enjoy.

It’s drawn as if drawn from life. Great gestures, body language and expressions. The colouring is mauves, oranges and blues; the tertiaries that keep the tension away; peaceful and idyllic colour motifs that include blue, but keep away the sadness; more gladness, more drugs and lying. But it’s all good, and all surface tensions are washed away, just like magic.

Then, through the purple haze, plot points emerge, like little pieces of pain, etching themselves into the easy-going narrative. Addictive, this book.

Image, My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies, $16.99 for 80 pages of content. Mature readers.

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!