My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies

Brubaker, & Jacob Phillips (illus.). Image. Oct. 2018. 72p. ISBN 9781534308466. $16.99. CRIME
OrangeReviewStarBrubaker and Phillips (Kill or Be Killed) are the most dependable duo in comics today, routinely producing hard-boiled, literary crime thrillers. Their latest follows the trend. As an orphaned child, Ellie develops a fascination with famously drug-addicted musicians and artists. Her hero worship follows her into adulthood and finds her placed against her will in a rehab facility where she meets a young man named Skip, who is desperate for a new lease on life. Soon the two are drawn together and propelled into real trouble by Ellie's impulsive, self-destructive behavior. Will true love save these tortured souls? Who are the mysterious men who seem to follow their every move? Close readers of the creator's oeuvre will catch connections to their earlier series, Criminal, but this one still provides plenty of truly twisted twists and wraps up with a pulpy punch of an ending that's satisfying—and heartbreaking—on its own.
VERDICT While lacking the scope of Brubaker and Phillips's longer, serialized stories, this stand-alone novella is a fine addition to a staggering body of work.

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