Comic Review: Heartbeat SC (BOOM! Studios)

BOOM! Comics brings you a dark, thrilling, and edgy story about a high school outcast who discovered the darkest secret in Heartbeat the graphic novel. So, this is the comic […]

BOOM! Comics brings you a dark, thrilling, and edgy story about a high school outcast who discovered the darkest secret in Heartbeat the graphic novel.

So, this is the comic that will eventually be going to give you a heart attack, because all of this takes place in high school where all the drama shit going on. But it’s different than any other story because this one will be a load of mind fuck around the plot, not to mention this is going to be worst than the School Days anime series, and this comic is the sickest story that I’ve ever come across. The story is created by Maria Llovet, both written and illustrated by her. She’s a multidisciplinary artist from Barcelona who is passionate about fashion and cinema, and as an author, she published more than four graphic novels in Europe and then debuted in the comic book market in the US. And somehow her work focuses on two important themes such as sex and death which is written all over in this graphic novel and the rest of her work. I’m giving you a fair warning of this comic, the story will be very disturbing to the readers, if you’re not ready, then you can STOP reading this comic and my review and go to the next one.

The front cover shows a cast of characters on the middle road, while one of the characters are covered in blood. Now, please remind me of what Donnatelo said on TMNT 3 movie that if I’m expecting maybe uh… the Addam’s Family? Yeah, because what this cover is like having a graduate picture of the students who actually murdered someone in cold blood, but I guess it’s for the best to define what this story is going to be for the readers. There’s a quote by Brian Azzarello who wrote Faithless and Batman: Damned wrote that she is “one of the most important cartoonists today. Her work is bursting with joy, sensuality, and passion.” I mean you could say that, but have anyone seen her work so far, her work shows that she draws characters which is more than another level that shows anything of sex and death, but forget about that, let’s focus on the story. Inside the starting few pages, there’s advertising which for the readers to remind if you know someone who is having thoughts of suicide, then here’s the national suicide prevention agency phone number to help someone just to solve their problems.

Basically, the story focuses on life in high school in a Japanese/Italian environment like setting, really nothing special, in fact, the environment and the cityscape perspective of the buildings is one of the sickest architecture designs that I’ve ever seen. Because whenever you see the buildings, you’d realize where that building comes from, and in the interior, it shows more like a catholic school that looks like a prison. It’s like watching Matilda in a nutshell. The story starts with the most exquisite work of art of every comic book page, it starts with a human heart and there are four panels which define what heaven and hell really look like. However, Eva who is narrating is clarifying that about what life is like to her. The story makes so eerie to know what the main character’s personality looks like because she seems to be more of a stiff than a normal human, but her eye patch seems to be her decoration instead of injury prevention. So Eva is going through in her complicated school life and her hardship for getting a scholarship or something, right until she took a photo of a murderer who killed her. And you know what’s really annoying? Every time when you stumble to look one of the following panels, the artist added a 3D sound text effect that came from the phone and when the bucket and the mop fell, because it usually makes no other point that she added those on Adobe Indesign, and it’s one of the shortest 3D sound effects in comic history.

After Eva took the photo of someone who died, the author decided to draw a panel of a piece of art which makes it what the viewers wanted to see from the Museum of Sex somewhere near 28th street in Manhattan. Now for Eva, what she saw is actually a hallucination of her mind because she seems to experience anxiety and depression while she stuffs herself with a chocolate bar. It’s intriguing to know what the author has in mind for drawing these kinds of panels which makes it to show her work as an illustrator, but this is like illustration oriented work. For a comic to have a taste of art, the authors show how the story exactly focuses on sex and death, which is to me is like having my thoughts to know what art is truly like. The scenes were taking is more of fantasy and romance, but the plot of the story is more complicated than any other reader can witness, because the other scenes are all about love and hate, and the whole story will end badly. It’s sick actually because no other characters in this story are innocent.

So I can’t expect for what’s coming from this story, but this is really edgy and makes every reader feel like this whole thing is a true story, but this is a work of fiction just to show readers that violence is never the answer to someone’s relationship and gives anyone to experience of what’s death and sex is like. To prevent that kind of though, there’s always that National Suicide Prevention that I mentioned on the starting pages of this book. I really hate these kinds of people who would do such a thing over a stupid relationship which is related to bullying and jealousy. Her art though, her art style has its roots in the Japanese manga and European art in general, but despite being an illustrator and a fashion designer, she actually nailed the cityscape environment and the interior as well. The character designs are much more like reading another webtoon series made by Koreans. Their facial expressions show that they resemble real life Asians from another life, not just that, Spanish, French, and Italians as well. I’m just analyzing the art as much as anyone does, but when you come to the characters, you can’t help to notice what humanity is like at the moment when you see “those” panels as if you’ve experienced PTSD or some black magic that gave you a hallucination. Her work contains much more than that because her illustrations show more of fashion and sex. I can’t think of any other comic that has that kind of content that would make this an Image comic content. Well, Heartbeat is a disturbing comic to be read and it would make your heart race if you’re interested in this kind of content.

About Kevin Bermeo

I'm a New Yorker Artist, and I traveled a lot. I enjoy making comics, illustrations, paintings, and digital art. Besides drawing, I'm also a writer, I used to be a Gamer, and I love adventures, food, and dragons.