Jaz Malone

the heart’s a heavy burden: Weighted Bones by Aremo Massa, words by Alex Dill

Jaz Malone
the heart’s a heavy burden: Weighted Bones by Aremo Massa, words by Alex Dill

Weighted Bones is such a wonderful story. It’s like slam poem put into a comic, and the words and the art are beautiful together. Weighted Bones features a protagonist who, I assume, is grieving over the loss of a loved one. The protagonist is seemingly going through a state of depression, feeling so black inside of themselves they are trying and unsuccessfully painting their ribcage any other color but black. It’s a struggle for the narrator as they fight to keep the blackness from shining through.

Weighted Bones showcases an accurate depiction of what it’s like to struggle with sadness after the loss of a loved one. The writing is simple yet full of grace, and it was such a clever and perfect way to express these emotions through word and art.  Alex Dill conveyed the narrator with so much personality and their words felt strong and passionate. My favorite line is “These bones still weighted, but the colors now less demanding.” It feels so heartbreaking but so real, and the writer has such a talent with portraying these emotions through their words.

The art of Weighted Bones is eye-catching and fascinating, and the artist Aremo Massa did a great job at depicting the varying temperaments of the main character as the story progressed. What is also fantastic are the illustrations of flowers and hands that are scattered throughout the comic. Every little detail was taken into account, and there is always something more to see and feel when you go back to look at the colors of the pictures and the facial expressions of the character.

By the end of the story, the protagonist still looks a bit withdrawn and sad, almost seeming resigned from the hard work it takes to grieve a lost loved one. In the final page, we see a beautiful photo of the main character reading a book with their chin in their hand, the ribcage and heart behind them completely enveloped with color and flowers. What is so hopeful about this story is the protagonist’s slow acceptance of the black inside of the ribcage. It takes them a while to understand that with pain, much like covering up the dark spots, it takes effort and patience in order to change it into something colorful and happy. Weighted Bones is a radiant story, and it is such a one-in-a-kind medium to display a meaningful story through art in this way.

After being attacked by a billy goat at a young age, Jaz decided that leaving her Detroit, MI home was for the best. She moved to Philadelphia, PA, where she received her BFA in Animation from The University of The Arts. She currently works in the tri-state area as a sequential artist, occasional animator, and tea enthusiast. She has yet to be attacked by another goat.