Synopses & Reviews
It begins in the year 1900, with the scream of a newborn. It ends, 100 pages later, in the year 2000, with the death rattle of a 100-year-old man. The infant and the old man are both Julio, and Gilbert Hernandez's Julio's Day (originally serialized in Love and Rockets Vol. II but never completed until now) is his latest graphic novel, a masterpiece of elliptical, emotional storytelling that traces one life -- indeed, one century in a human life -- through a series of carefully crafted, consistently surprising and enthralling vignettes. There is hope and joy, there is bullying and grief, there is war (so much war -- this is after all the 20th century), there is love, there is heartbreak. While Julio's Day has some settings and elements in common with Hernandez's Palomar cycle (the Central American protagonists and milieu, the vivid characters, the strong familial and social ties), this is a very much a singular, standalone story that will help cement his position as one of the strongest and most original cartoonists of this, or any other, century.
"Gilbert Hernandez's work has been kicking around in the pages of Love and Rockets with that of his brother Jaime for three decades now. With more collections of his work becoming available, the walloping punch of Gilbert's vision is becoming increasingly evident. Julio's Day is the 100-year story in 100 pages of a 100-year-old man living in a small, mostly Mexican town in the American Southwest, from his first to last breaths, 1900 to 2000. Where some artists would take that expanse as an excuse to go epic, Hernandez keeps a gimlet eye on his story, making every richly textured frame count. The outside world registers only in distant murmurs, wars that take young men and mutilate them, hints of industrialization. The town itself is a tight nest of family and neighbors familiar from Gilbert's work in the Palomar comics (much of Julio's story was previously published but never before collected). Lovesick heartbreak and tragedy alternate with magical realist elements like a months-long rainstorm, while dark skies and the horror of death's oblivion throw a shadow over everything. Through it all slips Julio, a quiet man whom others look past, few guessing his secret. A marvelous and tightly scripted epic whose last page is a heart-stopper." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
""A haunting performance and about as perfect a literary work as I've read in years. Hernandez accomplishes in 100 pages what most novelists only dream of--rendering the closeted phlegmatic Julio in all his confounding complexity and in the process creating an unflinching biography of a community, a country and a century. A masterpiece."" Junot Díaz
Gilbert Hernandez traces the life of a 100-year-old man from cradle to grave in this fictional graphic novel.
About the Author
Gilbert Hernandez lives in Las Vegas, NV, with his wife and daughter. He is co-creator of the long-running, award-winning, and critically acclaimed series Love and Rockets. His books include Chance in Hell, The Troublemakers, Luba, Palomar, Speak of the Devil, Sloth, The High Soft Lisp, Love from the Shadows, Girl Crazy, Yeah!, and many books in the Love and Rockets series.