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"Sweet Heart #2" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Dillon Does Comics

Sweet Heart 2 Large

Written by Dillon Gilbertson
Illustrated by Francesco Iaquinta
Colored by Marco Pagnotta
Lettered by Saida Temofonte
2018, 26 Pages

Review:

Imagine living in a world where literal monsters are a constant threat. They even teach about them in school. Maddie has firsthand experience with these creatures, as one has been plaguing her family for years. A sickly Stringer stalks her from afar and young Maddie has to drink a special medicine several times a day to keep it away.

You can imagine the chip on her shoulder that's developed from growing up like this. She didn't ask for this and it's the only world she's ever known. It's not fair that she's been saddled with this curse when other kids can run around without a care in the world.

Sweet Heart 2 01
Click image to enlarge

This constant threat is what makes Sweet Heart such a compelling read. The monster can appear at any moment and it is always nearby. You know it's there even when you can't see it. When it does show up, it's a terror on a whole new level. Artist Francesco Iaquinta has outdone himself with this design. It's like a more menacing version of the Creature from the Black Lagoon. It's made of muscle and scales. You just know that if you were to shoot it point blank it would barely flinch.

There is no hiding from these beasts. You can't lock yourself in a room or hide under the covers. They will find you one way or another. The one stalking Maddie shows up in school, manifesting seemingly out of nowhere in the middle of a crowded hallway. I don't care if these are things people see all the time. They're still really creepy.

Colorist Marco Pagnotta uses a sickly dark green for these creatures, like a radioactive alligator. Even under the light of the florescents in the school, the shadows still pool around them, like they're a magnet for darkness. This creates an omnipresent sense of foreboding, like a dark cloud is hanging over Maddie and her family, drowning out any joy they could attain.

Sweet Heart 2 02Sweet Heart 2 03
Click images to enlarge

While the monsters look scary, what puts them over the top are the unsettling sounds they make. They taunt their prey, calling out their names in long, drawn out tones that stretch across the page. I'm not sure if Iaquinta handled these or letterer Saida Temofonte, but in any case, they're some of the scariest sounds to appear on the page. The words wind through entire panels, creating a claustrophobic feeling.

Sweet Heart has pulled me in completely. Writer Dillon Gilbertson has presented a compelling and terrifying tale of a family tortured by a monster they can never stop. That hopeless feeling can tear any normal person apart, especially if it's something that they have to live with every day of their life. Maddie is destined to be consumed by this beast and she somehow finds the courage to soldier on. That stubborn streak is what makes Sweet Heart so damn good.

Grades:

Story: Fivestars Sweet Heart 2 Small
Art: Fivestars
Overall: Fivestars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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