Ah, Gilbert Hernandez, one of the madmen of comics! Nowhere is this epiteth more adequate than on this volume collecting diverse short-stories originally published on different magazines. I´m probably on the minority here but I tend to prefer Beto's work when he's off Palomar, so naturally this one comes off as a personal favorite out of his cannon. Besides, whenever I want to be reminded of what comics can do but often fail to, I just reach out to my worn-out copy of "Fear of Comics" and let good ol'boy Roy show me.
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Saturday, June 20, 2015
It would be so easy to pick up the whole Locas stories as a favorite but I'd rather not, I think it's much more fun to single out one story... A long time ago, during my idle spent teen years, I discovered the incredible world of Jaime Hernandez through reprints on a now defunct brazilian comix anthology. The artwork was drop-dead gorgeous then and still is now. A few years down the line I came across a Titan Books compilation with a bunch of Jaime's stories. Among them was this little gem of which I had seen the author himself reading a few pages on Comic Book Confidential, a documentary featuring a bunch of luminary north-american cartoonists which I had been lucky enough to catch on tv! So, I decided to pick "100 Rooms" to run here for purely nostalgic reasons. Jaime, Maggie, Hopey and co. have since then gone on to much greater heights in terms of storytelling... but I'm still waiting for Casey and Maggie to meet again ;-)
Saturday, June 13, 2015
I found the work of Tezuka later on, as a young adult, which, I suppose, may not be the most apropriate age group for the majority of Tezuka's works. Nevertheless, it captivated me in a way that other more "serious" and "mature" comics from contemporary authors almost always fail to do so. Why? Well, beyond the beautiful artwork, filled with characters with incredibly cute and captivating designs, extremely appealling and sensual ink lines against very detailed and naturalistic backgrounds, there's this recurring approach to narrative through an emphasis on emotion and reader/character empathy that never fails to get ahold of this incurable romantic reader. The forbidden romance between Masato and Tamami, the jealousy of Rock, Professsor Saruta's desperate quest... on lesser hands it would all sound fake and clichéd. The surprising miracle, then, is that, somehow, Osamu Tezuka while createing these epic dramas with cute little fictional characters, manages to go against the odds and makes it all work beautifully. Amazing!
Saturday, June 06, 2015
If I had to pick one single comic that helped raise my consciousness of the social injustices and crass exploitation at the heart of the mainstream american comic book industry this would be it. Ironic then, that given the content of this book, Dylan Horrocks, the author of this "independent" comic would then fall for the siren song of the system and end up writing corporate comics like Batgirl and burnout, but I digress...
This book is clearly the work of a man who loves the comics medium. Still, be warned, this is also about everything else that goes with it, all the nastiness, greed and pettiness that kept (keeps?) the medium and its practitioners from achieving its/their full potential. Yet, Hicksville IS a love letter to comics... I guess sometimes only someone who loves you can tell you the truth, right?