Today I wanna talk about Heart of Keol.

Heart of Keol follows Ethan, a US big boy who speaks only a bit of Korean and carries the memory of an absent, distant father and who gets thrown into magic Korea (those things may be related). In Keol, he meets Danbi, a gender-breaking character who uses a traditional feminine art: plant magic. They end up travelling together towards the Heart of Keol for the sake of Danbi’s little niece, who is being pursued by mysterious parties. On the way, they come in contact with the different societal expectations imposed on them, racial tensions and a certain mysterious Rencho.

This is the slowest burn ever and I’m here for it. The way the character relationships grow and expand over time? How they have stepbacks here and there? How they show how hard it is to truly understand another person, even if you have faith in them? Chef’s kiss, all along.

I could go on and on about worldbuilding and fantasy worlds and magic mechanics, but to be honest? This is not about Keol, this is about the HEART (pun intended). This comic has so much of it. It’s so very clearly a work of passion working very hard to convey a very specific atmosphere and emotional arguments. So many character moments, and they all feel so intimate and beautiful I sometimes feel like a third wheel, watching something I shouldn’t.

And the art is fantastic, of course, some of the most expressive I’ve seen in a long while, detailed, emotional and poignant.

Go read it. Hug your local JOJO character and Tiger Boy while at it.