The captivating story My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and colors by Jacob Phillips is coming out this Wednesday under Image Comics. An enchanting story about the unknown, the mysterious, and wanting to delve into both at the same time without a parachute. After you read this OGN (Original Graphic Novel), My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies, you won’t look at OGNs the same.
A Little Background About My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies
My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies is a graphic novel about a teenager named, Ellie. She has always romanticized the idea of drug addicts, whether it be in song, film, television, or life itself. The tragic and artistic souls are the ones that captivate her attention. Ever since she was young, they have captured all of her attention. Her mother, a junkie, died a decade ago at the start of My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies.
However, Ellie lands in an upscale rich rehab clinic where nothing is always as it seems. Ellie knows she is a bad influence so when she is placed in this upscale rehab, she finds another dangerous romance. Ellie will also soon find out how easily drugs and murder go hand-in-hand.
What To Make Of The Writing
The story in this graphic novel is exceptional. From the first page to the last, you get an in-depth story that would have not worked as well with weekly or monthly issues. This is a story that needed to be told in a graphic novel medium. We will explain, of course. First and foremost, the character, Ellie, is fantastically written. We get a fiercely great backstory on her character.
Enough to where we learn to care about her, even if that changes, at one point we did care about the outcome of the character. It is one thing to write a character that readers become invested in and it’s another to write multiple characters that way. Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips create characters that resonate with the reader. From Skip to Ellie, we get a sense of safety in both of them even before knowing who they were.
The past, present, and future foreshadowing is a grand addition to this issue. The panels and pages are incredibly written alongside the art we will get to later in this review. However, the writing is simply some of the best we have seen in the comic book medium in at least five years tops. Brubaker and Phillips truly are a match made in comic book heaven.
A Not-So-Minor Drawback
While we were reading this OGN, we assumed Ellie and even other characters were at least thirty-years-old. Often times there is a blurred line between how old they appear to be. Granted, that may be how they are supposed to come off, such in that “young but old soul” type of way.
But, this put the reader (us) in a weird spot at times when we realized she was only 21 and her love interest, Skip, was 18. This could also be because of the fact that nowadays you don’t see many 21-year-olds in rehab for drug abuse. Or, at least, it is not showcased much. This wasn’t so much a drawback that we could not complete the story, but it did put us in a weird place for about 5-6 pages before it registered with us.
What To Make Of The Art
Brubaker’s art style is unique to Brubaker. If you see any of Ed’s work, you know it is Brubaker. We just came from an Iron Fist podcast about Ed Brubaker, where we showcased the best run and we talked and praised about it for more than an hour. This will be similar to that. The art style is different, in a great way. It has a sort of dated look with very pastel colors.
It works for this style of comic. Especially when this is an OGN about a specific subject that goes from past to present frequently. The past is in black, white, and grey. It is distinctive which pages are in past and which are in present. We don’t get future, but in the sense that there is foreshadowing, we certainly do. Ellie’s moves and decisions are going to alter the future, and we understand that as readers.
Again, the writing and art go hand-in-hand in this OGN. They compliment one another in a way that is effortless. The writing showcases the art that showcases the showing of the novel. The writing tells is and the art helps show us what Ellie is actually doing. Ellie can say she is a bad influence all day long, but once we see that, it makes sense. In a particular panel, she talks Skip in smoking a marijuana pen.
He is hesitant at first, as anyone in a rehab facility would be. Nonetheless, a few seconds later Ellie talks him into this. While Brubaker can tell us this, Phillips and Phillips really showcase this to us in a specific page worth of panels. This is where we truly see Ellie take her manipulative tendencies to the next level. We are seeing that and thus, in turn, we believe it.
Should You Read My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies?
This OGN is a buy, read every year (at least every two years), and come back to appreciate the greatness. Please go out and buy, support, and appreciate the story inside of this OGN. It is incredibly written, drawn, and composed.
We just can’t do it justice because there is so much to talk about; we would be here all day. Go find out for yourself and go read My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies out today, meaning out now! Go get it!