Human Diastrophism: A Love and Rockets BookGilbert Hernandez
Human Diastrophism is the fourth volume in The Complete Love and Rockets Library, and the second that collects writer-artist Gilbert Hernandez’s main Palomar storyline, magical-realist tales of a small Central American town. It begins with the landmark “Human Diastrophism.” In it, a serial killer stalks Palomar — but the murders only exacerbate the cracks in the idyllic Central American town that the outside world made when it began to intrude. “Diastrophism” concludes with the death of one of its most beloved characters. As a postscript — one of the most hauntingly magical moments of the entire series — a rain of ashes drifts down upon Palomar. Also included are all the post-“Diastrophism” stories, in which Luba’s past (as seen in the epic Poison River) comes back to haunt her, and Hernandez sows the seeds for the “Palomar diaspora” that ends this dense, enthralling book. In addition to seeing Hernandez push the comics medium into greater artistic and narrative heights (along with contemporaries such as Chris Ware and Daniel Clowes), readers will see characters change as they age in “real-time” in stories that span generations and centuries.
Created between 1989–1995, these stories first appeared in the long-running (and ongoing) Love and Rockets comics series, also featuring work by Gilbert’s brothers, Jaime and Mario. L&R has been called “the greatest American comic book series of all time” by Rolling Stone and “a great, sprawling American novel” by GQ. It broke ground with its craft and the casual intersectionality of its huge and diverse casts of nuanced characters (many of whom are LGBQTIA+) who live and have relationships in often-naturalistic settings and situations.
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