Posted by Matthew Moyer on November 18, 2009
Heart Star is a gorgeously sad one-off zine from Christoph Meyer, who you should also know from Twenty-Eight Pages Lovingly Bound With Twine. It epitomizes what’s good about mini-comics of this nature; the diminutive size inversely proportional to the quality of personal storytelling and individual art within – something that would never get a chance under a larger comics imprint. Heart Star tells a simple story of a girl who committed suicide and her ghost’s quest to find peace for her restless, burning heart, and tells it in the style of a children’s fable or poem. The art reminds me of my attempts to draw ghosts in the first grade; all bedsheets, sad, sad, eyes, and skull faces drawn in thick pen-and-ink lines. This style lends it an air of Charlie Brown-esque whimsy and melancholy (Charles Schulz keyed into this same primal visual language) and is all the better for it.
The only occasional splashes of color are for a blood-red heart or red tongues of flame from a funeral pyre. Despite the deliberately rudimentary art, the layouts are creative and little touches like a hole-punched heart very literally communicates a feeling of loss. The story is rich and imaginative, the tone is meditative and elegiac, and the ending will definitely get you misty-eyed. Right before you flip back to the beginning to start all over again.