Release date: September 29, 2015
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When the Man with No Name breaks Emma’s heart, she wants to die. But you never die from these things; you just want to. In a moment of weakness, she wishes her broken heart away and a mysterious stranger–who may or may not be totally evil–obliges. But emptiness is even worse than grief, and Emma sets out to collect the seven pieces of her heart spread across the country, a journey that forces her to face her own history and the cost of recapturing it, and leads inevitably to a confrontation with the Man with No Name himself!
Heart in a Box has a very interesting plot – the concept of hearts being a commodity that can be wished away and traded. When Emma gets her heart broken by a guy (Man with No Name, seriously – his name is never mentioned), she wishes that she could get away from her feelings; essentially she wishes her heart away an agent, a Acquisitions one, comes to take it. Naturally, later she realizes what a big mistake it was to give your heart away, and asks for it back. He tells her that her the pieces of her heart are scattered, and she will have to go get them back, whichever means works.
The means of getting a heart and varied, as well as the ways of giving them. There is forcibly taking by death, willingly wishing it away, or leaving a piece behind. What I found beautiful in the story was how initially she had to take a piece by violence, but as the story progresses, she gets it by love. She even questions whether to get it, the call of her heart and the feelings of it a strong lure, but the methods hurting her even more. It was sad, but touching, and the story’s open ending fits the flow so well.
This was one of the few graphic novels I have appreciated; a beautiful story being the focus and not the artwork. The artist does have a good style, and the fact that Emma’s character was drawn as an average woman, not an ‘ideal’ woman was bonus points in its favor. Her overly huge eyes – almost cartoon-ish, were a bit distracting, though. Overall, I enjoyed this book, so much so that I was surprised when it got over so soon.
Received a free galley from Dark Horse Originals via Edelweiss; this does not affect my opinions or review.