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Palomar: The Heartbreak Soup Stories, A Love and Rockets Book Hardcover – November 17, 2003


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Product Details

  • Series: Love and Rockets
  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics; 1st edition (November 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560975393
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560975397
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 0.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,183,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From 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 Garcia 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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

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

“A high point in the comics form, conventional in idiom, but not comparable to any strips before it.” (The Washington Post)

“[...] This is a superb introduction to the work of an extraordinary, eccentric and very literary cartoonist.” (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Please pick these up and read them--it is so worthwhile.
D. Della Costa
This collection has every issue of the "Palomar" series, written and drawn by Gilbert "Beto" Hernandez from 1982 to 1996.
J. Sherman
This story was indeed heart breaking, and loving, and it felt real.
PaigeSix

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tom Knapp VINE VOICE on January 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Palomar is just shy of being an offbeat spot on your tourist map. Gilbert Hernandez, who created the Love & Rockets universe with brother Jaime, has focused much of his attention on this small Latin American town and its people, and over the years it has grown into a living, breathing town. Now, the many tales of Palomar have been collected by Fantagraphics in a new hardback edition that brings its simple joys and tragedies together.
The stories aren't always linear, and characters gain solidity as Gilbert leaps back and forth in the timeline, introducing some as children, some as adults, and filling in various romances, breakups and acts of violence along the way. Key friendships hold firm from start to finish, and it's fascinating to watch them evolve as some characters go their separate ways and others grow closer than ever.
Gilbert's black-and-white art is crisp, clean and realistic. His people are believable; some are beautiful, some ugly, others average -- like those you'd find in any town. Their personalities are also highly defined, and it's fun to see them change as the years roll along.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By fuzzuck on April 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I didn't read these tales in order, and it didn't really matter. I came to know Palomar as one comes to know any community: through rumour and gossip, little stories told in whispers that slowly piece themselves together. Gilberts' ruggedly elegant linework doesn't get him the same kind of attention that Jaimes' masterly draughtmanship attracts, but to my mind the better writer of the two is Beto, hands down. 'Human Diastrophism', included in this volume, about a serial killer who wreaks havoc on the hearts and minds of the residents of Palomar, is by far the best story published under the 'Love and Rockets' banner, a 120+ page yarn that represents one of the high points in comic art. And that's just one of the many, MANY brilliant moments in this massive 512 page volume. Personally, I wish 'Palomar' had of included 'Poison River', the collection chronicling the early life of Luba, the central character in the Palomar oeuvre, and one of the most complex and ambiguous women in modern fiction... but thats a minor quibble. This album is a masterpiece of labyrinthine plotting and loving character development. It is so rare to find an artist patient enough to spend over twenty years on a story, mapping out the soul of a town and its' people; that kind of passion and integrity deserves to be rewarded with your attention. An incredible work.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I've read Love & Rockets since about 1984. When a new issue of L&R comes out, I always read the Jaime Hernandez half first. I admit it, his art is much more atttractive to me than Gilbert's, and I identify with his characters a lot more, too. But then I settle down and dig into the Beto half. Whereas Jaime's Hoppers sagas could be described as Latino-punk soap operas, it is Beto that is creating new folklore. As much as I love Jaime's clean lines and cute-as-hell females, it is obvious whose craft shows the most depth, the most texture, and the most care, not only between Los Bros Hernandez, but between them and nearly every other comics creator ever. Earthy, sublime, funny, absurd, horrific, romantic, pornographic (in a good way), and honest are only a handful of inadequate adjectives to describe aspects Gilbert's work. This volume represents a large portion of his life, both in terms of time spent creating the contents, and what I'm sure is inside him. To read this is to see a competely new world, one that is the pure encapsulation of one part of the real world.
Now, when is the Complete Maggie & Hopey coming out?
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Miranda VINE VOICE on May 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've loved the Palomar stories ever since a friend handed me "Heartbreak Soup" (an earlier compilation of a few of the stories). The characters are wonderfully real, the art is expressive, and the strange, strange stories are always entertaining.
What a treat to have all of the Palomar stories in one (huge) volume! I totally agree with the reviewer who said that now Jaime Hernandez should follow suit, and release "Locas: The Maggie and Hopey Stories" (or whatever title he likes, as long as it's the complete Maggie and Hopey).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I have been reading Love and Rockets for nearly 20 years and have always been rather partial to Beto's Palomar stories - although I do enjoy Jaime's stories as well. I have always hoped that all the Palomar stories would eventually be compiled into one volume, and here at last they are - and in this beautiful hardcover edition no less. Even though these are comics, the quality of the writing (including the artwork)is as strong as some of the best latino Literature (Beto's work is often compared to Gabriel Garcia Marquez). As such, I always felt that without the benefit of having the entire series contained in one volume much was lost in general continuity - and as a result the weight and depth of the work not entirely accessible or apparent. Now, the full depth and outstanding quality of Beto's masterwork is all contained in a single volume for anyone who might appreciates a quality piece of literature in a completely different way (with pictures).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Jackson on April 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Growing up in an artistic family, I was read Love and Rockets as a very young girl. The drawings, language, and storyline always intrigued me and till this day, I think of Luba as part of my family. She is very real to me, because she is like my mother (really). Such a dynamic, sexy character. People may say that Beto is lacking in his half of the L&R series but I disagree on so many levels.
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