I just finished Gilbert Hernandez “Palomar” a complete collection of his comic written and drawn in 80’s and 90’s. Wow! What a different universe he lives in. Most writer/artists who create serious comics seem to approach life from a perspective outside the mainstream. This is no Calvin and Hobbes or Doonesbury, which are great strips but are cleaned up for mass consumption. They appeal to a wider audience. Gilbert Hernandez is obviously not worried about offending people, which leaves his work wide open and fascinating. This book is not for the sheltered or prudish. He shows a world full of sex and violence, but along with that he shows of people struggling to maintain relationships and stay connected with each other. How do you hold a community together when in the end every person in that community is an individual. People come and go, help and use and hurt and abuse each other. How do you stay tied to a community with all the pain connected to it. Ugly stuff happens in life and Gilbert Hernandez shows the ugly and how it sometimes leads to beauty. He shows the value as well as the problems with interdependence and the bonds of family centered culture. He looks on it all with a neutral eye that accepts all things as worthy of observation and depiction. Some of it shocks, but mostly taken as a whole it is a good example of art that gives insight into our own lives, and expands the world of the reader. But, like I said before you will have to get past the shock. He does not put his ideas in a candy coated shell for just anyone to consume. He is looking for those who will dig in the dirt to find the rare and beautiful.
Another Snowy Bus Ride
I am writing with big black yarn covered fingers.
I am remodeling the house that contains my life, which is now called white ice world. I am constructing bus route hallways as my usual car and road hallways are useless.White Ice World includes many more people I will never know, or even see again, but it is warm in the bus part of hallway that with short walks slippery trudges through the gaps leads to rooms that I need to get to.
I am realizing that when White Ice World fades. I will want to use these hallways as well as the old ones that will clear in time. The gaps in the hallway will become pleasant pieces of the structure of my life house. Maybe in the spring I will start work on my bicycle hallway. Who knows my life house could grow to fill all the spaces between here and the places I travel to each day. For now this rattly, bouncing passage filled with strangers will do, and even provide interesting building material for the life house I am constantly constructing and remodeling in my mind.