Sunday, September 10, 2006
Sloth - Gilbert Hernandez
Gilbert Hernandez should really need no introduction, but just in case go to these:
artbomb profile, fantagraphics profile
His Love and Rockets work is still one of the greatest examples of what comics can be and his more recent work is similarly excellent.
And in Sloth Gilbert has managed to produce a truly bewildering, original, imaginative piece of work.
The story starts out simply enough: Troubled teen Miguel, fed up with everything in general and his life in particular manages to will himself into a year long coma. Of course, upon waking he becomes a walking urban legend - unchanged from his sleep except for his sloth-like pace. So over the course of the book, Miguel, his girlfriend Lita and his best friend Miguel take on their suburban lives.
Gilbert writes teenagers with a knowing ear, his dialogue and motivations are always spot on. And his story here is really enthralling and the artwork as usual, is second to none.
But Gilbert pulls a switch halfway through the book that just leaves you breathless. With a turn of the page you suddenly question everything you've read up until that point. And from this point onwards the books is full of questions. I'm not going to reveal any of them, because this really is the book you should be reading. It's an astonishing piece, that will leave you with many, many questions about the quite brilliant graphic novel you've just finished.