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Comics Will Break Your Heart

Review

Comics Will Break Your Heart

Faith Erin Hicks is best known for her graphic novel series, The Nameless City, a trilogy that she wrote and illustrated herself, one of the first times she did so. A talented Canadian artist from the animation industry, Hicks has an intimate knowledge of the comic book industry that makes her the perfect person to write a YA book about it. COMICS WILL BREAK YOUR HEART is her debut novel, telling the story of two star-crossed teens from opposing sides of a major comic book franchise.

Miriam Kendrick’s grandfather conceived of the wildly popular TomorrowMen and, desperate to get his stories out there, sold the rights to Weldon Kendrick’s grandfather’s company, Warrick Comics, for only $900 dollars. A legal battle ensued as the TomorrowMen gained acclaim and popularity, but without recognition to Micah Kendrick’s part in its success. Now Miriam and Wendell have found themselves drawn to each other despite their families contentious past.

"I loved all the nods to geekery and fandom in this book and would recommend it to any graphic novel/comics fans who are looking for a fantastic novel to fall into. I can't wait for Faith Erin Hicks' future novels --- I'm sure they're going to be just as enjoyable!"

I loved everything about this book (including the fact that I now feel more confident about Canadian culture!). I'm a huge fan of meta-novels and novels that deal with readers and fandom. The great twist of this book was that the characters were not only fans of the comics but that they were intimately related to them. The dual point of view was fabulous as well --- as we got both sides of the legal battle that consumed Miriam’s grandfather’s life and the fallout that occurred. It was great because both Weldon and Miriam were outsiders to the conflict. As they learned about the fight that kept their families apart, we readers learned and made our own judgements.

I really liked Mir and Weldon. I loved how complex they were and how honest and real they felt. I stressed alongside Mir about her friendships, future after school and money problems. It was so refreshing to read a character who had to think about money and her future based on the cost of university even if it did hit a little close to home. Mir’s family was also a joy to read. I didn’t feel like any of them were prop characters. They added a depth to the story that made if feel more real and like Weldon, I wanted to find myself at Stella’s kitchen table, eating from her fresh garden and getting treated to a tour of her prolific art studio.

As for Weldon, I liked how even though he appeared to be just an heir to a multi-million dollar comic franchise, he was actually a flawed boy who just wanted his parents to pay attention to him. (I mean, his bad boy image didn’t hurt either.) I like how complicated his parents were --- how even after a scene when I decided they were horrible parents, something would make me reconsider shortly after. Ambiguous characters are real characters and real characters make a book a solid good read.

Miriam and Weldon’s budding relationship was wonderful. Their growing relationship was adorable --- as they reached out to each other despite their families’ pasts. I would have been happy for just a whole book with them realizing they like each other because that’s where the book shined. I loved the two of them together and was so glad to get to know them as characters separate and together.

The world building of the comics too was really wonderful --- it added an extra story that I enjoyed. Faith Erin Hicks is such a talented writer that I really was invested in the comic characters as well as the main story. Her depth of knowledge that added to the reader’s understanding of the comic book industry also made reading the book more enjoyable.

My only wish was that we could get some panels in the book! I want to see the TomorrowMen in real life!

I loved all the nods to geekery and fandom in this book and would recommend it to any graphic novel/comics fans who are looking for a fantastic novel to fall into. I can't wait for Faith Erin Hicks' future novels --- I'm sure they're going to be just as enjoyable!

Reviewed by Brianna Robinson on March 19, 2019

Comics Will Break Your Heart
by Faith Erin Hicks