A love story with heists and a heart. Heartthrob Vol. 1, by Christopher Sebela and Robert Wilson IV, set in an epic year for music, 1977, follows Callie through death and revitalization after she receives a heart transplant that should solve all her problems. But when she wakes up from surgery her problems are only more clear. With her new heart, she continues her dead-end job, dates the same crappy boyfriend, and sees just as bleak of a future as she did before. Though with the help of a new-figure, Mercer, comes a new life of excitement and adventure. They fall in love and Mercer has given Callie his heart, literally.
Since the twist happens very early on I don’t feel like I’m spoiling anything, especially since it’s the concept of the comic series, but Heartthrob is Bonnie and Clyde meets Fight Club. It’s also really entertaining and a fun whirlwind of a story.
But, what’s also impressive is how Sebela slowly brings us into Callie’s world. At first Callie is very relatable. She has a horrible job. She’s generally used and/or ignored. She’s a down on her luck individual. She then slowly turns into a robber with a heart (joke intended). By committing her crimes, she also uses the gains to help individuals in a Robin Hood sort of way. By Sebela doing this, he continues to keep Callie on the side of the “angels” in a way as she robs folks worse than her. It’s a concept that’s been done a ton, but it helps keep Callie as someone we cheer for.
And then there’s the relationship with Callie. For those who have spent time alone, it’s relatable as Callie talks to Mercer which is really talking to herself thinking through and rationalizing her choices. It’s sad in many ways and there’s a bit of humor too as we imagine what these conversations have to look like to the outsiders around her.
The choice of the story taking place in 1977 adds a bit of coolness to it all, and also gets away from the concept of troublesome cell phones and that coolness is present due to Wilson IV’s art which captures the time period from the cars to the clothes. There’s a retro look to it all in style and it’s fun due to that.
Heartthrob is a tale with an anti-hero at the center of it all and it’s an anti-hero we’re cheering for as she sticks it to the man, but more importantly, we’re cheering for her to find some happiness too.
Story: Christopher Sebela Art: Robert Wilson IV
Story: 8.1 Art: 8.1 Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy
Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review