A 250 word (or less) review of Heartbreak Soup, Human Diastrophism, and Beyond Palomar
By Gilbert Hernandez, Fantagraphics Books
There is a kind of magic here. Gilbert Hernandez's chunk of Love and Rockets is this marvellous and bizarre and expression of... well, life, I guess. The comic revolves around the fictional town of Palomar, a poor backwater community in an unspecified South American country, and the colourful people that inhabit it. The dozens of colourful, complex, gloriously weird people that inhabit it. While the Palomar books certainly have characters who get more attention, like Luba, the single mother and bath lady turned local business mogul turned mayor, the comics manage to tell the interlocking stories of this astonishing wide swathe of people in rich detail. And not just shortly glimpsed vignettes: Gilbert Hernandez's Love and Rockets follows the tribulations of the Palomarians for half a life time, literally decades of their lives. It's pretty special. But the Palomar Love and Rockets is also sort of large: some really big, dramatic stories about civil wars and gangsters and serial killers occur over the course of these omnibuses. And yet, the series never loses the focus of Palomar and its characters... it's like the comic is intent on showing the small and intimate moments against an epic background. The Gilbert Hernandez Palomar portion of Love and Rockets is every bit as deep, and heartfelt, and crazy, and beautiful, and alive, and unique as the Jaimie Hernandez Locas chunk and is, like its counterpart, an absolutely must read comics.
Word count: 237
Love and Rockets: Locas Omnibuses