Palomar: The Heartbreak Soup Stories

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From the pages of Love & Rockets, an intimate epic from south of the border.

For the first time ever, Fantagraphics is proud to present a single-volume collection of Gilbert Hernandez's "Heartbreak Soup" stories from Love & Rockets, which along with RAW magazine defined the modern literary comics movement of the post-underground generation. This massive volume collects every "Heartbreak Soup" story from 1993 to 2002 in one 500-page deluxe hardcover edition, presenting ...

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Overview

From the pages of Love & Rockets, an intimate epic from south of the border.

For the first time ever, Fantagraphics is proud to present a single-volume collection of Gilbert Hernandez's "Heartbreak Soup" stories from Love & Rockets, which along with RAW magazine defined the modern literary comics movement of the post-underground generation. This massive volume collects every "Heartbreak Soup" story from 1993 to 2002 in one 500-page deluxe hardcover edition, presenting the epic for the first time as the single novel it was always intended to be. Palomar is the mythical Central American town where the "Heartbreak Soup" stories take place. The stories weave in and out of the town's entire population, crafting an intricate tapestry of Latin American experience. Hernandez's densely plotted and deeply imagined tales are often compared with magic realist authors like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabel Allende (House of the Spirits). His depictions of women and Mexican-American experience have been universally lauded as the best examples the artform has to offer. Luba, the guiding spirit of Palomar since the outset, has been hailed by The Nation, Rolling Stone, and Time magazine as one of the great characters of contemporary American fiction. Hernandez's work, in addition to the obvious magic realist comparisons, shares an affinity with other Latin American and Spanish writer/artists, like Frida Kahlo, Federico Garcia Lorca and Pablo Picasso, all of whom applied a surrealist eye to what they saw and experienced. Palomar follows the lives of its residents from Luba's arrival in the town to her exit, twenty years later. Included are such classic tales as "Sopa de Gran Pena," "Ecce Homo," "An American in Palomar," "Human Diastrophism," and "Farewell, Mi Palomar." Palomar presents one of the richest accomplishments in the history of the artform in its ideal format for the first time, making it a must-have for longtime Love & Rockets fans and new readers alike.

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Editorial Reviews

The Times [London]
“[T]he graphic equivalent to the fabulism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Nobel laureate.

The Washington Post
“A high point in the comics form, conventional in idiom, but not comparable to any strips before it.”
The Washington Post
Incredibly dense, with more than 50 "major" characters, Palomar may be a bit too comprehensive. By page 400 or so, it can feel as if there is no end in sight. But taken one at a time, the stories reveal depths that reward many readings. Palomar is not simply an example of some of the best comic writing of the last 50 years. It's an example of some of the best writing of the last 50 years, period. — Jessa Crispin
Publishers Weekly
In 1983, Hernandez started writing and drawing short stories in Love and Rockets about a little central American town called Palomar and the interconnected lives of its inhabitants. The "Heartbreak Soup" stories, as they were called, established his reputation, and this mammoth, hugely compelling book collects the first 13 years' worth of them. The earliest stories in the book owe more to magical realism and Gabriel Garc a Marquez than to anything that had been done in comics before. But in later pieces, like the harrowing "Human Diastrophism" and "Luba Conquers the World," Hernandez's style is entirely his own: brutally telegraphic (he can capture an entire emotionally complex scene in a single panel, then imply even more by abruptly cutting to the middle of a later scene), loaded with insight about the bumpy terrain of familial and sexual relationships, swinging wildly in tone between suffocating darkness and sunny charm. His characters have enormous, tangled family trees, and he gradually unfolds their histories: there are some plot developments he sets up a decade or more in advance. And for all the bold roughness of his drawing style, Hernandez is a master of facial expression and body language. He tracks dozens of characters across decades of their lives, and their ages and their distant family resemblances are instantly recognizable, as are their all too human dreams and failings. This is a superb introduction to the work of an extraordinary, eccentric and very literary cartoonist. (2003) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
With the skill and spirit of Gabriel Garcia Marquez (and even a couple of nods to him in the text), Hernandez brings us to a mythical South American village, Palomar, where magic happens as naturally as a sneeze. Hernandez began telling the stories compiled in this book in the second issue of Love and Rockets, released in 1982. This landmark comic that focused on modern urban American young women and the wild, bizarre, "alternative" lives they led, shocking audiences with the normality and universality of their stories. With their easy-flowing, musical dialog and realistic decision-making, the women of Palomar (Luba, Chelo, Carmen, etc.) are all equally easy to relate to-though many of the men are not. Each joyfully absurd turn in the plot surprises and amuses more than the last, though the sexual melodrama that serves as filler does get tiresome after a while. The art is definitely stylized, at times borrowing from manga with its comic, oversimplified facial expressions and at other times extremely detailed, owing much to R. Crumb. Highly recommended, especially for libraries with Latino populations.-Khadijah Caturani, "Library Journal" Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560975397
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
  • Publication date: 11/28/2003
  • Series: A Love and Rockets Book, #8
  • Pages: 500
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet 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.
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Table of Contents

Chelo's Burden 1
Sopa De Gran Pena 11
Heartbreak Soup, Part One 13
Heartbreak Soup, Part Two 38
A Little Story 58
Toco 64
Act of Contrition 69
Act of Contrition, Part One 71
Act of Contrition, Part Two 81
Act of Contrition, Part Three 92
The Whispering Tree 104
The Mystery Wen 107
Ecce Homo 115
The Laughing Sun, Part One 117
THe Laughing Sun, Part Two 125
On Isidro's Beach 137
Ecce Homo 145
An American in Palomar 163
The Reticent Heart 165
Slug Fest 176
An American in Palomar, Part One 181
An American in Palomar, Part Two 191
Boys Will Be Boys 205
Love Bites 213
Holidays in the Sun 215
Love Bites 229
The Way Things're Going 240
For the Love of Carmen 244
Duck Feet 257
Duck Feet, Part One 259
Duck Feet, Part Two 271
Bullnecks and Bracelets 287
Human Diastrophism 309
Sugar n Spikes 311
Space Case 314
Heraclio's Burden 318
Human Diastrophism 320
Farewell, My Palomar 427
Be Bop A Luba 429
Farewell, My Palomar 430
A Trick of the Unconscious 446
The Way Things Went 465
Pipo 466
Carmen 470
Another Mysterious Tree 471
Luba Conquers the World 477
Luba Conquers the World 479
Epilogue: Chelo's Burden 497
Chelo's Burden 499
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