The Heart Collectors is deceptive. From its cover, it looks like a sweet little zine of doodles about everyday items: an umbrella, a necklace, a flower, a planet. However, this black, off-white and red quarter-sized zine is as precious as the titular hearts.
At just six pages long, artist and writer Louisa Tsui uses a few well-chosen words to tell of some of the possible outcomes for hearts to endure before being found by the collectors. Although brief, the tale (vaguely reminiscent of Edward Gorey) is deceptively simple, sad and beautiful. It made me wish that all the hearts, and the lives they represent, could find a home.
The story alone is a wonderful little artifact, but this zine folds out into a full-page depiction of the deep red hearts and the spirits that care for them. Unfolding the pages feels like unraveling a puzzle, and the picture that’s revealed feels like a secret between the reader and the artist. This is a zine to hold on to and be surprised by again and again. (Joanne Huffa)