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Sacred Heart

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,317 ratings  ·  230 reviews
Just another urban wasteland? Think again. People keep dying mysteriously, local band The Crotchmen rock the nights away, teenage palm readers have lines out the door, and Ben Schiller is doing her best to get through all the weirdness until... what?
Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 1st 2015 by Fantagraphics
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Kir Liz Suburbia recently put out Egg Cream, which contains, among other comics, a follow-up to Sacred Heart.

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Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,317 ratings  ·  230 reviews

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Dov Zeller
Apr 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
(Between 3 and 4 stars.)

Spoiler alert! This review reveals things that happen in the book.

Though "revealing" things in a review of this book is unlikely to diminish the pleasure of reading it.

Sometimes I like to read reviews before reading a book and I doubt that would have made this reading experience any less intriguing. It might even have enriched a first reading, as this book is eccentric, disjointed and layered. Then again, maybe it's best to read the book once or twice before reading any
Dave Schaafsma
Sep 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: gn-women, alt-comics
I didn't know anything about Liz Suburbia until I found this just in at the library yesterday. It's a kind of growing up in suburbia tale based on but (I now know) pretty significantly revised from her webcomic. None of the characters are particularly attractive; it's a kind of slice of life story of disaffected teens into sex, drugs and rock n roll. I think unattractive is part of the point. This is not a story of the popular in-crowd kids.

There's a punk sensibility to it (and actual punk musi
Ian Hrabe
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Sacred Heart pulls off a sneakily brilliant slowburn. It starts out chronicling the quotidian punk rock lives of a bunch of small town high schoolers. You see their relationships, parties, hanging out watching cult movies, etc. And then the dread creeps in. Where are their parents? Why does it seem like they're waiting for the apocalypse? Why are so many teenagers in this town getting killed and why are their peers reacting to their deaths with what is effectively a communal shrug as if it is to ...more
Jan Philipzig
Turns out David Schaafsma had already written the very review I was still struggling to write myself, only better, so here you go:
Thanks, David!
Krista Regester
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Holy shit...

Hope everyone is healthy, safe, and has plenty to read. Now’s the time to kill that ‘tbr’ pile.

Jeff Raymond
Jan 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
For a guy who reads a lot of young adult books, it's rare and weird for me to read a book and think "man, I'm too old for this." But that's how I felt about Sacred Heart, a book that is utterly drenched in a culture I don't know or relate to simply because I'm 20 years gone from it, but with a story that is certainly compelling to some and has a massive twist at the end that really brings a lot of it together.

If a graphic novel about teens getting by and doing their own thing in what comes acros
Sooraya Evans
Oct 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
A lengthy, hard to follow plot. But it's basically teenagers obsessing over sex. Same old, same old.
I hated all the characters from the start and wished they all die.
Speaking of which, it's hard to tell male and female characters apart. Poor drawing.
May 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
I've been hearing about this comic for years, and I can see why. It's a gorgeously drawn, intense story about a very specific kind of teen experience. The story mainly follows tomboy Ben and the people she most interacts with: her sister Empathy, her best friend Otto, Otto's sometimes-girlfriend Kim, the members of Crotchman (the only band in town), Ben's crush Dominic, two oddball pre-teen girls who run a fortune-telling operation, the kid who runs the movie theater, the kid who runs the 7-Elev ...more
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a dark, disturbing work with a lot of emotional resonance and many mysteries that linger even after the apocalyptic ending. We find ourselves in a gritty suburban river town in an indeterminate time, watching grimy teenage punk kids hang out, drink, go to house shows, and argue among themselves about love and philosophy. We know something more than just teenage angst is up when our protagonist, Ben, stumbles upon the brutally murdered body of a classmate. No one really bats an eye and we ...more
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was one of the new books at my library and since I wanted to read more graphic novels, I said sure why not? The cover was appealing and I tend to enjoy random comics from Fantagraphics anyway.

I quite enjoyed it. I liked the grittiness and slovenliness of a youth left to their own devices and the illustration style. Reading Sacred Heart made me think back to the days I used to hangout with friends and/or significant others while the parents were away, going to house shows or band practices
Stephanie (aka WW)
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved this graphic novel even if I didn’t understand the overarching story line completely. I just loved existing with the teenagers of Bucknell High as they navigated their adult-free world. Otto and Ben are among my favorite comic couples of all time. But I liked virtually all the characters in the story.

The artwork matches the story perfectly. Little features like omnipresent graffiti added a lot to the atmosphere of the teenage town. At 300 pages, the book is long, but I could have happil
Derek Royal
Nov 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is my first exposure to Liz Suburbia's work. I hadn't heard of her before Fantagraphics released this book. But I discovered that Sacred Heart started as a webcomic, and that most (not all) of the story is still available on her website. The thing is -- and what I find most fascinating -- is that the art in the book is a notably different style than what originally appeared online. The latter had a more detailed and less cartoony (I don't mean this in a negative way) look, which is what def ...more
Maybe it is because this novel helped me re engage with a crusty punk side of my life or maybe it is because I spend most of my waking moments thinking about my high school students, anyway, I THOUGHT THIS BOOK WAS INCREDIBLE. Suburbia's setting, character development, and art left me grasping for more and rereading it twice in two days! It is such an interesting take on teenage years and what could happen. There's action, romance, and plenty of punk. Also some serious friendships and navigation ...more
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
The obvious art style and plot comparisons to Jaime Hernandez’s work on Love and Rickets I think hold true. This is not a unique perspective as i’ve read this critique several times. Having said that, I still got a lot of enjoyment out of this book.

I’m an aging punk and I relate to a teenage existence devoid of adult supervision although not to the extreme of this book. In the 80s I roamed my town and countryside wildly getting into all kinds of misadventure. Our soundtrack was punk and we live
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel, dark, ya
This has echoes of both Paper Girls, Vol. 1, SuperMutant Magic Academy, and Black Hole in terms of it being a graphic novel combining teens, sex, horror, and a looming mystery that may or may not be otherworldly. ...more
Feb 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Solid first graphic novel effort. Ambitious and adventurous in content- punk teenagers having sex, getting into trouble, no parents anywhere, tidal waves, murders, all kinds of shit. My favorite chapter was the one that was from the perspective of a dog. Looking forward to watching this artist grow.
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing

I don't want to give anything away, because piecing together what's going on was part of the intrigue, but you should definitely read this one. Plus, fantastic artwork that serves the story well.
Dragon Messmer
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I just got it in the mail today. I couldn't put it down.
It really brought me back to my own teen/young adult punk scene. The characters are all so recognizable and real. Also, the underlying story is delightfully slow in revealing itself.
not sure this one is really my style. but I have some ideas about who I'd recommend it to, so that's good. ...more
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
The art style made it hard to follow sometimes because the characters looked similar. Also the story was meh for me.
Dec 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Suburbia nails the teenage, punk-loving dirtbag vibe in a way that feels specific and lived-in. Some of her best panel sequences are the silent montages of secondary and tertiary characters just doing dumb high school stuff. Her character design is more cartoony than I usually prefer, but I appreciate the way she draws characters with various body types, blemishes, cellulite, etc.

The book's central characters and relationships are....fine. It's kinda impossible *not* to compare this to Jaime He
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Slowburn and odd tale of a town filled with just tweens and teens doing their own thing - they go to school but there are no teachers, parents are not part of the picture, and people just die and no one seems to care. Leading up to a weird ending, this one left me intrigued, yet confused.

Saw some mention of a sequel, so I may pick it up whenever it comes out just to see if it starts to make more sense.
Brandon Amico
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. The story is at turns familiar and unsettling, and nearer the end it really starts ramping up into new territory. Every time I thought I had the story pegged, something would happen, even a little thing, that made me rethink it.

Sacred Heart is beautifully drawn and laid out, and the humor and humanness of its characters is refreshing.
Daniel Vlasaty
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
bunch of punk rock teens doing drugs and partying and blah blah blah. Reminded me a lot of my teen years. the end felt a bit rushed and kind of came out of nowhere and i wasn't super down with it, but it didn't diminish my enjoyment of the book much. ...more
Jessica Park Rhode
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
3.5. Wanted less episodic vibe
Jenefer R
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Not my cup of tea. It was kind of all over the place.
Liz Yerby
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This style isn't quite my style? Had some good twists and cute little sound effects. ...more
Jun 07, 2019 rated it did not like it
This one just wasn't for me. Full review on my blog. ...more
Jan 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Dec 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, xmas2018
Excellent cartooning style and developing weirdness, though mostly in the service of mood and not plot. When was the last time I read a comic with a plot...
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