Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Heartbeasts - Rick Boven

Title: Heartbeasts
Author: Rick Boven
Genre: Graphic Novel
Published: 2011
Formats: Ebook

Available at:
Amazon UK

Heartbeasts is a collection of three short stories told in graphic form that try to bring across some strong emotional points. These three stories are some of the first that Rick Boven produced and I have to admit the imagery didn't seem quite as refined as what I saw in his later book, The Last Pict which I have previously read and reviewed. Although, I actually think this has worked quite well as some of the stark imagery created does a good job at conveying the tales of heartbreak and woe that are being presented.

I won't really go into the stories themselves in any depth as I don't want to spoil it for anyone that does decide to pick up the collection. However, they do all touch on some of the darker aspects of love and relationships and therefore I felt that the stories can come across as being very angst ridden and "emo" in their style and message which may not appeal to everyone. What I did like though was the way that all three of the stories varied in relation to length and the level of usage of text and artwork to convey the story. It meant that each story felt slightly different, both in substance and style.

The minor issue I did have with this collection though was in regards to the formatting of the eBook on the Kindle. Some of the sections of the story had some very small text which forced me to really concentrate and strain my eyes so that I could actually read it. The only other option seemed to be for me to change the aspect between portrait and landscape which did increase the font size slightly but doing this was a little bit irritating. I still managed to read the story but some people may find the text is rather hard to read in sections if they are using a standard Kindle.

In summary, I do like the use of a graphic medium when creating short stories such as those present here. The limitations of low word counts are counteracted by the ability to use imagery to really convey some of the stories aspects. Personally, I have to admit that the stories felt a little bit too "emo" for me, probably due to the time in his life when Rick Boven was writing them. However, the stories are an impressive collection of graphic work and I suspect there will be plenty of teenagers out there who can relate well to some of these stories much better than I could.