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The Twilight Children Paperback – May 17, 2016
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“A mesmerizing tale of eerie and extraordinary events in a most unassuming setting…one of the year’s must-read books.”
—Matt Wagner, creator of Mage and Grendel
“Hernandez, Cooke, and Stewart are the kind of creative team that demands attention, and the strength of their combined talent makes The Twilight Children a great omen for Vertigo’s future.” –A.V. Club/The Onion
“…every bit as good as you’d expect from a series featuring writer Gilbert Hernandez, artist Darwyn Cooke and colorist Dave Stewart.” –IGN
“… another expertly crafted example of Gilbert Hernandez’s unique vision and talents, and a delightful reminder of why Pulitzer-Winning author Junot Diaz once said he should be deemed ‘one of the greatest American storytellers.’” – PopMatters
“…it's not just good -- it's phenomenal…Simply amazing and highly recommended.” –Comic Book Resources
About 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, LUBO, PALOMAR, SPEAK OF THE DEVIL, SLOTH, THE HIGH SOFT LISP, YEAH!, and many books in the LOVE AND ROCKETS series.
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The fact that Twilight Children, his final major work is getting bad reviews is a travesty. The art alone is worth at least Four Stars. Gilbert Hernandez is the writer and this collected volume includes many of his original design work for this project. If you are familiar with his work for Love & Rockets then you have some idea of the direction of this story.
It takes place in a small Hispanic Fishing Village. The time is either the present or the past, since the village seems untouched by many of the modern touches of current civilization.
Twilight Children is about both the troubled characters that inhabit this strange village and the mystery that has befallen them. The characters are very well realized and by the end I felt I knew them so well that I wanted to spend more time with them.
The mysteries are where most of the complaints about the book are coming from. The mysteries reminded me of the TV show Twin Peaks, with numerous different strange things happening. We have giant glowing orbs in one case blinds three children, but doesn't effect others in that manner. We have people disappearing and reappearing. We have a strange white haired girl with even stranger powers.
I read one review online that says the book does not have an ending. That is not true, it has a clear and definite ending. The truth is in the end, everything is not spelled out and it is left to the reader to to decide exactly what happened. This was done on purpose and if you read for pure escapism and don't like to think about what you just read perhaps you may want to avoid this, but if you are open to material that stimulates your brain and makes you think, you should enjoy this story.
I know exactly what I think happened. And I can tell you the clues are in the beautiful Darwyn Cooke art. It is meant to be studied, looked at and read again at a later date. I think each rereading may change your perspective and your answers.
For me this was an utterly brilliant book and I am saddened that Mr. Cooke will never bless us with more ground breaking work.
The Twilight Children has absolutely gorgeous artwork drawn by someone who clearly knows how to make a story - any story - aesthetically pleasing. Darwyn Cooke is an amazing artist and his talents are more than matched by Dave Stewart's coloring. The two work together well and their end result is a miniseries that looks great from start to finish.
I just wish that I could say as much about the story, which was quite lackluster. We're given an interesting premise here, strange glowing orbs that steal away townspeople and turn three children blind, as well as a beautiful woman with white hair that barely says a word. However the problem here is that all we ever have is the barest outline of a story. Nothing unfolds organically, as every plot point marches one after the other - regardless of whether or not the next turn or reveal actually makes sense in the story's context. For example, we have people falling in love or in lust at the drop of a hat, elements that ring false - especially given that there is no development to justify anything like that happening. This next part is somewhat of a spoiler, so I'll try to keep it vague. At one point we're told that someone in the village is related to the orbs... yet we're given nothing to justify this other than a vague glance between the white haired woman and said townsperson. It's the same type of glance that she gives another person in the story and there wasn't anything else to justify this reveal, so this turn in the story felt as hollow as the story's final pairings. I've read Hernandez's other work so I know that he can do better than this. I hate to say it, but this just seemed to be missing the heart and soul that I've seen in Love and Rockets. All of the characters here are cardboard cutouts, their personalities so thin that it feels a little insulting that this was aimed towards adult readers. It certainly does the characters a disservice, especially the lovely Tito. She could have been a beautifully complicated character but instead she just comes across as the town "bicycle", offering rides to anyone that happens to cross her path. Her character evolution is the one that feels most false, as she turns from bad girl to mean girl to someone seeking redemption. It was all the type of effort that would have been OK for some writer putting out stuff for the first time, but Hernandez is someone who can write characters that really grab you - their personalities so complex and developed that you feel that they could walk off the page. I can only hope that this was the result of him getting pressured to release something before it was actually done, as this could probably be seen as one of his worst works. This is the type of stuff you see from fledgling writers just breaking out of their shell, not seasoned veterans.
It felt that there were huge chunks of the story missing, almost as if this was part of an ongoing series and there was this whole backstory that got left out of the book. Or that perhaps there were 4-5 other issues that went into this miniseries that got dropped somewhere. It's a huge letdown and honestly, if it wasn't for the artwork and the fact that this feels like a C effort from a straight A student I wouldn't have been as disappointed by everything.