SmackJeeves (Independent Webcomic Platform)
(W) & (A): Julie K/Miyuli
I’ve seen many people in the world who give everything for their careers. However, I’m not sure if it’s possible to sell your heart for repair. While it would be an interesting career, I can imagine it draining the life out of me.
Hearts For Sale, by Julie K, is a simplistic tale that focuses on a girl who sells hearts, a man who can repair hearts and a customer who meets the pair one day. One day, the young customer sees the heart seller on the side of the road. The heartseller cannot repair his heart, so she takes the customer to her friend, the heartsmith. From there, it’s about how the heartsmith fixes the customer’s heart and how the heartseller interacts with both characters.
The story is very short, but it delivers a very sweet and complex theme of compassion throughout. When the heartseller leads the customer to her friend, her faith in the heartsmith is both brave and noble. Even the heartsmith’s confidence is daunting as he takes on the task of giving the customer the ability to love. These simple events come together to teach a lesson about giving and taking. As strange as it is, I would recommend this tale for children between the ages of 8 to 10 to help them understand complex ideas through the form of a fairy tale.
The heartsmith in the tale is a man who works hard to perfect his craft. Although he brings a lot to the story, it’s the heartseller I’m intrigued with. Unlike the heartsmith, she works in an alley away from his shop. I never understood why the pair couldn’t work together. However, their cute friendship helps seal the deal of what the two currently have. As for the customer, they place a time limit on how soon his heart should be fixed. While the time limit helps deliver the main message to the story, it also hides the fact that the customer is emotionally inept. They’ve kept their heart in shambles to the point they didn’t attempt to repair themselves.
Again, I need to mention that the creator did a great job in highlighting the main message of love and compassion. But Julie K, the author, did not show the customer attempting to take care of himself first. While the customer tries to compensate for the compassion the heartsmith gives, I still don’t think it’s enough to drive the customer’s personality all the way home.
The heartsmith seems like a kind enough man, but I wish I knew what drove him to push himself in his craft. While the story had 26 pages, the creator was smart enough to pack the necessary information needed to deliver the main theme. If the creator were to ever do a spin-off to this story, I would hope they focus on the heartsmith’s drive for his craft or how the heartseller came to be. Seeing their backstories would be heartwrenching, but exhilarating stories to follow. The creator was smart when bringing so much personality to all of the characters. By showing the characters’ intentions throughout the entire story, there are no hidden agendas for readers to cling to.
Finally, the artwork is well done. I love the detailed background the creator used. It has a great balance of simplicity and elegance in my opinion. However, I really don’t like how the creator used lighting on the character’s clothes, objects, etc. It doesn’t look the best in my opinion and they were better off just keeping to a more neutral style.
Overall, this short story packs a lot of themes and identifiable characters. While the creator was smart to deliver a story in 26 pages, I still think that artwork could improve. I honestly hope the creator will make a spin-off one day as I am very intrigued by how these characters came to be. To read this comic, please click here to find out more.