Tommy Siegel’s Candy Hearts started out as a single idea for a comic during a project. Siegel was drawing a comic a day for 500 days, and dashed one off. In the introduction to this book of comics, Siegel writes “I started to realize that candy hearts made for a pretty convenient setup to illustrate inner monologues . . . on the outside. A way to cut through to the truth and bluntly show what people are feeling but not expressing to their loved ones.” The idea is a fun, novel one, and really captured a lot of attention when Siegel posted it, on Valentine’s day in 2018. Now, a whole book of candy heart comics await anyone who wants to read something earnest and short.
While obviously anthropomorphic candy hearts have different physiology to human beings, they really come across in Siegel’s comics as bizarrely human. Their faces are expressionless, but their body language expresses almost as much as the lettering on the hearts. The collection is humorous, blunt, and raw, full of jokes that hit hard and sometimes come a little too close to the truth. While it is a fast read, it is a joy to revisit, and well worth a place on your shelf. Some of my favorite bits include the tiny baby hearts, and the dogs, which are both cute while the latter are adorably derpy. There is just something so sweet about a little candy heart playing with a truck, and a dog with one of its eyes hovering out of focus. Word to the wise, I did find myself reading the funnier ones aloud to my significant other, so if you do buy this book for a loved one, prepare to listen to it as they chortle over the more amusing tableaux.
Candy Hearts is out February 2, 2021, and can be purchased wherever books are sold, or borrowed from your local library. If you wish to support this blog, you can also buy it from Amazon using our affiliate link.