Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Girl Crazy by Gilbert Hernandez

Gilbert Hernandez is best known for Love and Rockets, the legendary anthology comic series he publishes with his brothers Jaime and Mario. His best-known stories from that series are the convoluted but more or less linear tales of Palomar, a small South American village similar to Garcia Marquez's Macondo, and its inhabitants and expatriates. He's also done a number of short and surrealistic tales of gonzo science fiction, and Girl Crazy resembles these more than the Palomar stories. A three-issue mini done for Dark Horse several years ago and collected in trade paperback form, it's a wild ride. It's the story of three girls: one, Kitten, is a tax collector for a future IRS, who wears a cybernetic power suit to collect from aging deadbeat punks; the second, Maribel, is a muscular heroine in animal skins who lives in a savage jungle-like Los Angeles; and lastly there is Gaby, who practices law in the 1950's, although these 1950's seem perhaps a three-hour drive away rather than fifty years. I won't even attempt to explain what happens when the three get together on the cusp of their sixteenth birthdays, except that it has to do with some buried talents, Kitten's lovesick boss, and the mysterious Una. Does the story make sense? I'm not sure. But it's a lot of fun, and Beto's drawings (and his women) are as lovely as ever. Recommended.


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