Author: Dillon Gilbertson
Format: digital issues
Publish Date: 2020
Publisher: Action Lab – Danger Zone
Author website: https://www.dillondoescomics.com/
Guest review by Aaron Iara
Sweet Heart is a horror comic series written by Dillon Gilbertson. The art is by Francesco Iaquina. The colors are done by Marco Pagnotta, and the book is edited by Nicole D’Andria. The five-issue series is published by Action Lab and premiered in March of 2020.
Ellicott City is the home to horrific monsters that hunt humans. The monsters choose their prey and pursue them until they are ready for attack. The only way to stave off these creatures is to drink a tonic. However, the effects of the tonic do not last forever. Eventually, the monsters will get you.
This series is one of the most visceral and unsettling comics I have ever read. There is something very disturbing about knowing that a monster is one its way to get you. I have had a tolerance for the horror genre for most of my life, but there is something about Sweet Heart that rattles me.
Taking a tonic is not as action-packed as the epic battles we see in other monster comics. However, the characters in Sweet Heart need to be vigilant about making sure they are safe. This includes the middle of the night when the monster has creeped into their bedroom. Sweet Heart excels in terms of creating a very tense and frightening atmosphere.
Dillon Gilbertson has stated that the series is an allegory for living with diabetes. There are two types of monsters in Sweet Heart that represent both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The repellant tonic is made to represent having to regularly take insulin. Monsters in horror can represent a variety of topics, but typically serve as political or social satire. Gilbertson has found a way to use horror to bring medical issues to light.
While Sweet Heart makes diabetes its main thematic focus, the series captures the fear and burden that comes with chronic illness in general. People with chronic illness are in a constant fight for their quality of life. Their medical routines become an integral part of their lifestyle. Any abandonment or alteration of these procedures can be devastating.
It can be hard for people to relate to those with chronic illness. There are so many things that we take for granted every day. For people with chronic illness, day-to-day activities can range from difficult to insurmountable. What I love about Sweet Heart is the series’ ability to demonstrate many of the negative feelings that come with medical issues.
Sweet Heart is one of my favorite horror comic series of the past few years. I would recommend this series to anyone who is a fan of monster horror. This series is also great for those who want a unique spin on medical-themed comics. Either way, this series is a great piece of art made by a team of very talented creators.