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Sacred Heart

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,210 ratings  ·  206 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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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,210 ratings  ·  206 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
David 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
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 ...more
Rebecca McNutt
This was an odd book, sort of a Lord of the Flies crossed with Shampoo Planet, but it was a highly original and creative story and the comic art was great.
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!
Jul 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
I just can't believe that kids are that stupid or shortsighted. Even on a day to day basis, it's utterly unbelievable that you wouldn't be having really long, worried discussions about what happened, and why, and what to do next. There's very little of that, and instead there's partying, kids trying (and mostly failing) to fuck, and even high school.

I don't buy it, and I don't care about the kids, and I wish there was a monster that would eat them.
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 ...more
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
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
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 ...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
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel, ya, dark
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.
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.
not sure this one is really my style. but I have some ideas about who I'd recommend it to, so that's good.
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
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.
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.
Jun 07, 2019 rated it did not like it
This one just wasn't for me. Full review on my blog.
Jenefer R
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Not my cup of tea. It was kind of all over the place.
Jessica Park
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
3.5. Wanted less episodic vibe
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...
Jul 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: gn-geekdom
2-4 stars!
Andrew Fairweather
Jan 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
A book I almost loved, Liz Suburbia's 'Sacred Heart' is good enough to keep turning the pages and finish in one sitting. I hung on every word and every relationship—the romance between Ben and Otto kept me searching for more. I still do want more...

In an interview, Suburbia says (quoting an Emily Carroll—probably whose name carries weight but I am, as usual, in the dark...) that there's a difference between a Comic for Punks and a Punk Comic, owning that 'Sacred Heart' is the former. An
Mar 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: graphic-novel
My brain hurts from this one.I knew i was taking a risk when i picked it up but didnt realize just how big of a risk it was.Thats not to say that others might really enjoy it just for me it completely missed the mark.

In a nutshell the story centers around a small community of teenagers whos parents are all gone.Throughout the story you have no idea why they left.The book centers around a girl named Ben and takes the reader through a series of situations in which you realize that something just
Cole Rose
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
It seemed to not know what it wanted to be. The story was all over the place and all in all, it seemed rushed. The ending was amazing though. If it was stretched out to become a bit longer, I believe I would have been more involved with the characters, and the ending would have made me more upset. Plus the fact that not a single adult was around made me question the story as a hole. So all in all, it was okay, but nothing I would suggest anyone else to read. Oh and for a graphic novel in black ...more
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