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posted April 10, 2013
Fantagraphics, hardcover, 112 pages, April 2013, $19.99.
1606996061 (ISBN10), 9781606996065 (ISBN13)
I'm not sure that there's a lot to say about Julio's Day
, the first of two Fantagraphics offerings that along with Drawn and Quarterly's Marble Season
may make 2013 the Year Of Gilbert Hernandez, that isn't much more effectively and poignantly experienced in the reading of the work. I felt this work more than I processed it intellectually, which is odd in that I think it's relatively complex and will lend itself to multiple readings and a truckload of spread-across-a-table analyses. I suspect that Julio's Day
may be best read -- or at least will reward a reading -- as a kind of counterpoint piece to the rigorously accessible Marble Season
, as it examines one person's life by jumping in and out of various points of that person's life as opposed in contrast to exposing the reader to a small period of time more fully. If you're a fan of the elegant way in which Hernandez can jump between times and places, something for which he's maybe less known than his magnificently skilled cartoonist brother Jaime Hernandez but a feature to which he's been able to lay equal claim since "Bullnecks and Bracelets," this may be your favorite purchase of the year. I found Julio's Day
moving at times, again for reasons I'm not really certain I can fully articulate. The idea that we may be known as much for the choices of those around us and things that happen in proximity to ourselves as much as if not more than by the choices we make is either the ultimate comfort or the first back-of-throat rumblings of an existential howl.