FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS – @fantagraphics
CARTOONIST: Gilbert Hernandez
EDITOR: Eric Reynolds
COVER: Gilbert Hernandez with Paul Baresh
24pp, B&W, $3.99 U.S. (January 2017)
Gilbert “'Beto” Hernandez is the cartoonist, comic book creator, and graphic novelist best known for being one-half of the duo known as “Los Bros.” Gilbert and his brother, Jaime Hernandez, are Eisner Award (Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards) winners, and they have produced the seminal, alternative comic book series, Love and Rockets (Fantagraphics Books), for the better part of four decades.
As a “solo act,” Gilbert (a.k.a. “Beto”) has also produced numerous original graphic novels and several comic book miniseries for publishers like Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics, and Drawn & Quarterly, as well as for his original publisher Fantagraphics. In 2015, Fantagraphics launched Beto's most recent solo offering, Blubber.
This black and white comic book series offers short stories and vignettes featuring a cast of misfits, monsters, and anthropomorphic types. Beto also presents his usual mix of bizarre characters, strange stories, and outlandish sex and sexual acts, all hallmarks of his comix going back to the beginning of his public work.
Blubber #4 (which was released earlier this year) opens with the one-page comix about semen and barbecue, “Shit for Fuck,” starring X-25. Then, in the “Tower of the Sindog” a mother and son each find their pleasure, but there is violence in that mummified love. Then, you will never believe the adventures of “Red Tempest XXX.”
I gave rave reviews to Blubber issues #1 and #2, but I did not rave about Blubber #3, although I did enjoy it. I won't rave about Blubber #4, although it is rave-worthy. After reading this fourth issue, I am simply flustered by Gilbert's imagination because I am starting to believe that he owns some bottomless well of ideas. From this well, he draws forth inventiveness that seems to spill over the rim of a metaphorical bucket. Every time I think that Gilbert cannot top himself, I find another story and another – graphically graphic and visually splendid.
Blubber is a true Underground Comix; it is not just in that tradition of... It is the real thing. Like classic Underground Comix, Blubber is a true comic book, as fun and fanciful as those old-timey comic books I read as a child... without the nose-dicks and the sucking of yard-long cocks.
Well, I have said this before: Gilbert Hernandez is the best comic book writer in North America. Well, he is also a pretty, damn good cartoonist, and Blubber needs to go above ground – perhaps riding high on a cock rocket like Slim Pickens' “Kong” in Dr. Strangelove.
9 out of 10
Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"
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