Heartbreak Soup (Luba and Palomar, #1)
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2007, Love and Rockets is finally released in its most accessible form yet: As a series of compact, thick, affordable, mass-market volumes that present the whole story in perfect chronological order. This volume collects the first half of Gilbert Hernandez's acclaimed magical-realist tales of "Palomar," the small Central American town, beginning with the groundbreaking "Sopa de Gran Pena" (which introduces most of his main cast of characters as children, plus the imposing newcomer Luba), and continuing on through such modern-day classics as "Ecce Homo," "Act of Contrition," "Duck Feet," and the great love story "For the Love of Carmen."

Heartbreak Soup (Luba and Palomar, #1) Details

TitleHeartbreak Soup (Luba and Palomar, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 17th, 2007
PublisherFantagraphics
ISBN-139781560977834
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Comics, Graphic Novels, Fiction, Graphic Novels Comics, Comix

Heartbreak Soup (Luba and Palomar, #1) Review

  • N.T. Embe
    January 1, 1970
    To be perfectly honest, at the beginning of this book, I was completely lost. There was a cast of so many characters, with so many random, seemingly senseless things going on, that I couldn't quite orient myself until, some time further into the book, I began to realize that this was just how the book was written. This first volume isn't even able to be considered as a real book, in a sense, because it's a collection of shorter stories all put together into one large volume. In fact, I think To be perfectly honest, at the beginning of this book, I was completely lost. There was a cast of so many characters, with so many random, seemingly senseless things going on, that I couldn't quite orient myself until, some time further into the book, I began to realize that this was just how the book was written. This first volume isn't even able to be considered as a real book, in a sense, because it's a collection of shorter stories all put together into one large volume. In fact, I think there are six more volumes that came after this one that continued to expand on the stories of the people from the made-up town of Palomar.Overall, I'd have to say that this entire volume of stories reads quite like a Spanish novella would play on TV. I get that distinctly "soap opera" feeling from it, and yet... *Laughs* I, who never in my life cared or had the urge to watch such things, found myself really enjoying this first volume of Heartbreak Soup. It was definitely a different experience for me in the world of graphic novels. I who have read few comics and whose sole source of understanding is manga, was able to get the chance now to enjoy the large and varied genre from a different culture, and it was pleasantly worth it.There's something relieving about just sitting back to read a book that doesn't have a message or anything truly purposeful to it. The entirety was, as I've mentioned before, a series of interrelated if separate stories that follow a fairly large and varied set of characters. There are a few people I loved--Carmen especially. God that girl/woman was KICKASS. <333 I became a dedicated fan from the nearly the first second I saw her. *Laughs* Every character in here though, has this wonderful quality, where you almost forget that they're made up characters in a story. They act and think and feel like real characters do. There's none of that sense that you're reading a story in here. It's got the realism of sitting down in front of your TV and literally watching a novella, with all its twists and turns, unexpected or not, of normal people living their own lives. *Chuckles* It's quite refreshing. This is one of those books that you would read just for your own pleasure and nothing more or less. Very few books can pull that off today.I must say something else about the things I read. Being the type of story it is, it has everything that normal people commonly find and deal with in life: sex, murder, prostitution, and more. It's also pretty graphic in some terms of this, definitely the sex and nudity portions of it. And listen to this girls! Male nudity too for once! About time, right? *Chuckles* Sure the women are going to out-do the men, as normal. But all these things should give you the feeling for what this graphic novel is really like. Although it is absolutely not written for children, it's full of a casualness that makes everything enjoyable even if it takes you some time to get into the world and learn who the different people are. You eventually get there, and you start to feel at home in the stories of the people of Palomar. After that, it just turns to sitting back and enjoying the ride for the duration.Strangely enough, even after finishing things, though many of the stories had a mixture of closure or lack thereof, I feel that of all the graphic novels I've read, this one is perhaps one of the few that I would go back to and read again, because I know I'll enjoy it from beginning to end all over again. Perhaps that sensation alone speaks for itself.Also! I absolutely have to mention this before I conclude. The artwork: THANK GOD that it was drawn by someone with an actual CONCEPT of how the human body looks! The women! God bless these women! They have CURVES. *Cheers all the way throughout the book!* It's such an unexpected and delightful surprise to actually SEE women that have a SHAPE to them and not just implanted parts that become the central focus. For instance, that one part where Luba, the woman with the BIGGEST boobs you'll see in this book, is making a comment about another girl's attire in town, she mentions that she would trade everything for a pair of legs like the other has. And lifting her long skirt and planting her knee on a barrel or box (can't remember what it was exactly), she displays her own chicken leg and it's thin and unshapely. That kind of balance between the actual make and variety of women's bodies is a detail that adds so much more pleasure to the reading for me. I think perhaps that's why I didn't mind the nudity of the women as much as I might have if it was in any other story. In the end, it was just their bodies, beautiful and natural and NORMAL. No flippin' implants or anorexia to boot. -3- I enjoy my women with SHAPE to them. Geez, you think people would actually care about that! But I'm done rambling about that for now. XDIn the end, I feel that this is a book that may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I'd say it's definitely worth looking into if you'd like some variety and enjoyment. Don't plan on getting anything too deep from this book, even if it does have its moments scattered throughout. Just go through it for the fun! It's a nice read for that! ^__^
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  • Tom Ewing
    January 1, 1970
    This is my third or fourth time reading these stories, but the first for a decade or so. No criticism here - these are foundational for me, some of my favourite ever comics. The first time I read the early stories here - 25 years ago now - I remember feeling a little sad at how quickly Gilbert Hernandez moved time forward. The world of the first Palomar story was so charming I wanted to stay there longer - but time and change, the steady accretion of consequences and histories, is the essence of This is my third or fourth time reading these stories, but the first for a decade or so. No criticism here - these are foundational for me, some of my favourite ever comics. The first time I read the early stories here - 25 years ago now - I remember feeling a little sad at how quickly Gilbert Hernandez moved time forward. The world of the first Palomar story was so charming I wanted to stay there longer - but time and change, the steady accretion of consequences and histories, is the essence of both sides of Love And Rockets. So this reading the stuff which really stood out for me was at the end of this collection, the sequence of stories focusing on the individual boys from that first story, and the nearby stories, one a mad whirl of a cast-reunion party, one a surreal tale involving a bruja's visit to Palomar. What all these have in common is Hernandez moving his storytelling style on from the whimsical but straightforward magic-realist narration of the first half of the book, trying out new structures (first-person and third-person narratives in the Heraclio and Vicente stories; the way Israel's life is purely relational, defined entirely by who he's with; the constant, panel-to-panel perspective shifts in the party story; and the feverish breakdown of storytelling in "Duck Feet"). This understandable thirst for variety and experiment would flower more in later stories - in this one it's in delicious balance with the more consistent location and loveable cast.
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  • Hillary
    January 1, 1970
    My first bigger book by Gilbert (and only my second overall, after Speak of the Devil), and I was a little worried about how he'd compare to Jaime, but I may like his stuff just as much. Had a brief discussion about it last night with Casey and came to the conclusion that it's mostly just more intense and adult and gets there faster than Jaime's stuff does. It's not just that there's a lot more sex and violence (although there is; even this first book is, like, jam-packed with wang), but also My first bigger book by Gilbert (and only my second overall, after Speak of the Devil), and I was a little worried about how he'd compare to Jaime, but I may like his stuff just as much. Had a brief discussion about it last night with Casey and came to the conclusion that it's mostly just more intense and adult and gets there faster than Jaime's stuff does. It's not just that there's a lot more sex and violence (although there is; even this first book is, like, jam-packed with wang), but also that the relationships explored are considerably more complicated, even from the beginning, and by the end of this collection, they're even more so. I don't love anyone here the way I love Maggie and Hopey, but I sure do want to find out more about them.
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  • D.S. West
    January 1, 1970
    Of the things that make me truly happy in life, the experimental and semi-surreal comics of Jamie and Gilbert Hernandez are high on the list. While I'm more partial to Jaime's Locas, the close-knit community of Palomar has grown on me. When I'm blue on the ride to or from work, I can disappear in Gilbert's broad cast of characters and forget about my troubles in a world where the real is slightly or significantly less real, where love and loss occur with a visual and narrative beauty that allows Of the things that make me truly happy in life, the experimental and semi-surreal comics of Jamie and Gilbert Hernandez are high on the list. While I'm more partial to Jaime's Locas, the close-knit community of Palomar has grown on me. When I'm blue on the ride to or from work, I can disappear in Gilbert's broad cast of characters and forget about my troubles in a world where the real is slightly or significantly less real, where love and loss occur with a visual and narrative beauty that allows me to marvel at the mysteries of life at a distance from whatever shitty-ness I have sapping from my mind.
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  • Darjeeling
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. If anybody says comic books aren't literature show them this. I have never read a comic book like this. This is not just one of the best comic books I have ever read but one of the best books period. This is a classic that deserves to be placed along side other great works of literature. It manages to hit harder than Barefoot Gen, while being about everyday lives rather than big events. It's one of those books that I just want everybody to read, but unlike a book by George Orwell or Harper Wow. If anybody says comic books aren't literature show them this. I have never read a comic book like this. This is not just one of the best comic books I have ever read but one of the best books period. This is a classic that deserves to be placed along side other great works of literature. It manages to hit harder than Barefoot Gen, while being about everyday lives rather than big events. It's one of those books that I just want everybody to read, but unlike a book by George Orwell or Harper Lee it's not trying to tell you something, or convince you of anything. It's not 'Woke', and that's one of the things I like about it. It just holds up a mirror to the world, if that makes any sense at all. Maybe I just relate to the little town of Palomar out in the middle of nowhere. I felt like I recognised a few people.
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  • Zedsdead
    January 1, 1970
    Hernández has created an amazingly well developed small Mexican town setting and packed it with quirky, realistic characters. Heartbreak Soup is a collection of small stories encompassing dozens of residents and jumping around in time, spanning two generations. He tackles death and sex and love and crime and unemployment and white people and adolescence and nostalgia. There's even a bruja. It's magnificently immersive.
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  • Erin the Avid Reader ⚜BFF's with the Cheshire Cat⚜
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my goodness this graphic novel is FANTASTIC. When I read the first couple vignettes I was slightly confused and wasn't sure if I was getting the whole "small town people" vibe. Well, I was introduced to a badass, intelligent little girl named Carmen and I was hooked! What kinda funny is all the characters are stereotypes of Mexicans and Latin Americans. Sounds insipid and offensive, right? Wrong! Gilbert Hernandez portrays his Latino/Latina characters as Hollywood stereotypes at first (mostly Oh my goodness this graphic novel is FANTASTIC. When I read the first couple vignettes I was slightly confused and wasn't sure if I was getting the whole "small town people" vibe. Well, I was introduced to a badass, intelligent little girl named Carmen and I was hooked! What kinda funny is all the characters are stereotypes of Mexicans and Latin Americans. Sounds insipid and offensive, right? Wrong! Gilbert Hernandez portrays his Latino/Latina characters as Hollywood stereotypes at first (mostly in the exterior), yet the farther in you read you realize each and every one of them has a distinct, complex personality of their own. So essentially Hernandez drew stereotypes yet decided to make each one likable or tangible in their own unique ways as to give these stereotypes interesting personalities. Bloody genius!By the gods I loved this book. Next time I'm at Powell's I'm buying #2 and continuing with the adventures of the citizens of a small town called Palomar.I must also say that I'm not too scrupulous when reading graphic novels, yet this one is an example of how much you should pay attention to each detail. I understood it a lot more doing so.
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  • Mon
    January 1, 1970
    Palomar isn't a particularly attractive graphic novel. Nobody has the ability to fly, there is no costume, villain with weird laughs, super speed, teleportation, time warp, fluffy animals, or even girl with really big eyes.Maybe that is why it's literary. It's easy to poke fun at superficial comics and post lolcat pictures instead of writing a proper review here. My own lack of description should thus hopefully convince you how good this is.
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  • Betty
    January 1, 1970
    My first time reading any Love & Rockets, which is long overdue. I loved the slapstick comedy combined with soap opera kinda thing, and while some of the stories were a bit uneven (I'm allowing that some might do better in the greater context of the Pàlomar stories), I appreciated how progressive a lot of it was, particularly the women characters, who were brash and funny and all unique. They had opinions and relationships with each other outside of the men involved! Always a good thing.
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  • Baklavahalva
    January 1, 1970
    Two pages and I was hooked. Saw this book at UNCG's library (so happy to see that university libraries everywhere are making collections of graphic novels). Dark and brooding; warm and wonderful. It has everything: violence, paranoia, sex, friendship, larger-than-life women with larger-than-life breasts, fried slugs, panther attacks, enormous sculptures and temples left by ancient tribes that strangely resemble extraterrestrials.
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  • Brandon
    January 1, 1970
    The first story in this collection was solid, but didn't really prove itself in terms of how well the series is regarded. And then there was the rest of the book. Amazing. Highly recommended. Now, to try out some of Jamie's stuff.
  • Lghamilton
    January 1, 1970
    Graphic novel set in a relatively isolated small town in rural Mexico, in the early 80s to 90s. An interviewee in the NYT Sunday book section noted this book should be taught in literature classes, so I thought it would be an interesting read. Great illustrations, and Hernandez puts the graphic in graphic novel, but it jumped around too much for me and I had a hard time putting the various story lines together in time.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the writing and characterization in this. I love the way Beto draws bodies and lets his characters’ sexualities and lives speak for themselves (like Jaime). I took a star off because there’s a lot of sexual and gendered violence, the ubiquity of which is frustrating to me.
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  • Eric
    January 1, 1970
    I was blown away by how good this was. It is dense and there are a lot of characters introduced but as you get further into it, you catch all their individuality in the artwork and personality. Very well done.
  • Abriana
    January 1, 1970
    So incredibly immersive, honest, and really stands on its own stylistically. I'm really looking forward to reading more of these
  • Si Squires-Kasten
    January 1, 1970
    admirable, but not for me
  • Danny
    January 1, 1970
    The greatest.
  • Phil Overeem
    January 1, 1970
    LOVED. IT. NEED. MORE.
  • Adrian Bloxham
    January 1, 1970
    Ah Palomar.. so good to be back
  • Eujean2
    January 1, 1970
    It took me a little while to get into the rhythm of the book, but the stories of life in Palomar were engaging.
  • Robert McTague
    January 1, 1970
    Really damned good. Much deeper than most could imagine; sometimes waiting years to come back to certain plot threads. The Bros Hernandez are the sh*t.
  • Amy Peavy
    January 1, 1970
    I had to force myself to read this over slowly. I want to are more of this beautiful/difficult town. Thank you Miss Jonson for this book.
  • Jason Pettus
    January 1, 1970
    (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com:]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)Regular readers know that I make my way through graphic novels on a pretty regular basis, usually only ten or twenty pages at a time while in bed at night; and hey, what should just happen to pop up at my neighborhood library the other day than the collected "Palomar" stories from legendary '80s and (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com:]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)Regular readers know that I make my way through graphic novels on a pretty regular basis, usually only ten or twenty pages at a time while in bed at night; and hey, what should just happen to pop up at my neighborhood library the other day than the collected "Palomar" stories from legendary '80s and '90s comic Love And Rockets, only a handful of which I'd ever sat down and read from cover to cover before. (Or, actually I cheated a little -- the book I came across randomly was merely volume one of a brand-new paperback collection by its publisher Fantagraphics, being offered as a cheaper and more mobile version than the all-in-one coffeetable-sized hardback collection they put out in 2003; when I discovered that the Chicago Public Library has not yet acquired volume two of this new paperback series, I simply checked out the larger hardback version, and finished up the stories that way.) For those who don't know, the original Love And Rockets consisted of several different persistent storylines, each of which was run by a different member of the multi-sibling Hernandez family, who as a group originally created and funded this historically ultra-important title from the dawn of alt-comics; the "Palomar" stories (named after the town where they take place, also known as the "Heartbreak Soup" stories after the very first tale in the series) was the one maintained by brother Gilbert, an expansive look at a fictional village somewhere on the west coast of Central America, and all the remarkable things that happen there from roughly the 1950s to 1980s (and sometimes both before and beyond).And indeed, the entire series as a whole is still a remarkable read, just as sharp and entertaining as when the stories first started appearing nearly thirty years ago; because by concentrating on the long-term fates of dozens of Palomar's citizens, as they mature over a dense 600 pages from childhood to middle-age (or from middle-age to death in the case of the main characters' parents, or from birth to puberty in the case of their kids), combined with a healthy dose of magical realism (inspired by the Latino-American artist's obsession with Gabriel Garcia Marquez), Hernandez turns in a saga much more timeless than his '80s contemporaries, ultimately a story about family that now holds up much better than the instantly dated punk-rock tropes of, say, peer Alan Moore from the same period. (For example, just try reading Moore's early-'80s V For Vendetta anymore without its naive anarchist political posturing making you want to burst into unintended laughter on a regular basis.) It's this original attention to classic detail that makes the Palomar stories still so enjoyable, and what has kept Love And Rockets still so well-known and influential even decades later, when so many of the other roughly-done black-and-white comic-book experiments from the period have by now fallen into near-total obscurity.Out of 10: 9.4
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  • Keith Irwin
    January 1, 1970
    Heartbreak Soup is a series of tales about the people who live in a small town in Mexico. It's touching and sweet and human through most of it. They are tales of love and loss and growing up. They are tales of people being people. The characters do the sort of things that real people do like struggle and fight and dream and settle. There are no great heroes or villains, just a lot of people. It is a series of short stories and should be appreciated as such. This can occasionally result in things Heartbreak Soup is a series of tales about the people who live in a small town in Mexico. It's touching and sweet and human through most of it. They are tales of love and loss and growing up. They are tales of people being people. The characters do the sort of things that real people do like struggle and fight and dream and settle. There are no great heroes or villains, just a lot of people. It is a series of short stories and should be appreciated as such. This can occasionally result in things feeling somewhat disjointed, but it also gives the author space to come back to incidents which happened in one story later from another character's perspective which can be very interesting. All in all, I found it very engaging.I'm going to offer some caveats now, because it's a book which is so widely praised (and deservedly so) that I think that potential readers could get the wrong impression. There are points where the story telling seems disjointed. There are also some points where I had a lot of difficulty separating out what bits where meant to be hallucinations or dreams from those parts which were meant to be real. I also found the use of magic in the stories to be odd. It's a very realistic story, but from time to time there's suddenly magic bits. Sometimes, like in the first real story, these can be subtle touches which add richness to the setting. When used that way, they work pretty well. But then at other points, they're suddenly big important plot elements, which winds up feeling out of place. The other criticism (which I have seen elsewhere) is that the primary teenaged or adult female characters in the comic are all quite attractive. They're not all cut out of the same mold, but they all have quite small waists and pretty faces. They're not flat characters at all, but their uniform attractiveness when the male characters range from very attractive to very unattractive feels like it reflects sexism or at least male fantasy. As a heterosexual male, I will say it was pleasant to look at the drawings of attractive female characters, but it feels like it undercuts the reality of the setting. Anyway, even with some flaws, it was still a terrific book.
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  • Laura Zurowski
    January 1, 1970
    I totally missed out on Love and Rockets back in the day. In 1982, I was definitely not a cool enough kid to be buying comics (living in the suburbs, all I ever saw was school, home, and the back seat of my mom's station wagon)and by the time I was interested in stories like Neil Gaiman's Sandman, ten years had passed and L-n-R just wasn't my cup of tea.Fast forward another 20+ years and I decide now is as good a time as any to get some education about the legendary Hernandez Brothers. I totally missed out on Love and Rockets back in the day. In 1982, I was definitely not a cool enough kid to be buying comics (living in the suburbs, all I ever saw was school, home, and the back seat of my mom's station wagon)and by the time I was interested in stories like Neil Gaiman's Sandman, ten years had passed and L-n-R just wasn't my cup of tea.Fast forward another 20+ years and I decide now is as good a time as any to get some education about the legendary Hernandez Brothers. Fortunately, Bill at the Copacetic Comics Company (www.copaceticcomics.com) knows more about Love and Rockets than nearly any other living human being, so he was the perfect person to help me figure out where to start with a series that has over 30 years of collected work.Heartbreak Soup was a perfect place as it provided a thematic container for the cast of hundreds that come in and out of the stories (well, maybe not hundreds, but there are lots of characters to keep track of...). There were a few times when the narrative would quickly move through time and I'd get lost ("Wait! When did Pipo grow up and get big, permed hair? I thought she was 10?") but I was generally able to follow the characters and their relationships without much effort. The only exception would be the stories Duck Feet and Duck Feet 2 - I have NO idea what those were about - other than Luba falling into a pit and various people in Palomar turning into zombies. Or maybe that was it - maybe there wasn't anything else to "get"? :-)I didn't love Heartbreak Soup as much as I do other graphic novels or comic series but it's certainly an enjoyable read and an interesting opportunity to look back at a very cutting-edge and alternative publication from the 1980s and 90s. I'm looking forward to checking out the Maggie the Mechanic Love and Rockets book next.
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  • Mark Feltskog
    January 1, 1970
    As the summary on the back cover of this collection attests, "in the third issue of Love and Rockets, Gilbert Hernandez abruptly jettisoned his Marvel and Heavy Metal-influenced sci-fi yarns to focus on the day to day tribulations of a tiny Central American hamlet more or less untouched by time--Palomar." Mr. Hernandez gives his readers a clue to this transition in the story "Love Bites." As the story opens, Heraclio begs his lover Carmen not to destroy his copy of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One As the summary on the back cover of this collection attests, "in the third issue of Love and Rockets, Gilbert Hernandez abruptly jettisoned his Marvel and Heavy Metal-influenced sci-fi yarns to focus on the day to day tribulations of a tiny Central American hamlet more or less untouched by time--Palomar." Mr. Hernandez gives his readers a clue to this transition in the story "Love Bites." As the story opens, Heraclio begs his lover Carmen not to destroy his copy of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, which has displaced her in his attention and, presumably, affection.It seems to me quite clear that Beto Hernandez (as his fans know him) fell under the sway of Latin American magical realism in general and Mr. Marquez in particular. Like other stories in the huge Love and Rockets saga, these are simply brilliant: extremely well written and drawn with lavish beauty. If there weren't strong sexual undercurrents running through these stories, I would use them in the classroom.My only criticism of this, such as it is, if of myself and my occasionally out-of-sync reading habits. I read One Hundred Years of Solitude at age 17 while a senior in high school; frankly, I failed utterly to understand it, and have it marked for an encore. Like the stories in Beto's earlier collection, Maggie the Mechanic, these were written and published in the early eighties, when I had much stronger eyes and would have more greatly appreciated the energy and raw beauty of these stories.
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  • MarQuis
    January 1, 1970
    I first experienced Gilbert and the citizens of Palomar in this first volume (out of five, I believe) of the Luba and Palomar storyline and HOT DAMN, if my world wasn't rocked! These stories and characters grab hold of your heart, mind, and soul and promise never to let go. After being introduced to an eclectic cast of characters (the omniscient Chelo, the beautiful Pipo, the tormented Jesus, the ever-complex Luba, etc.) we are thrust into the loves and losses of the citizens of Palomar. The I first experienced Gilbert and the citizens of Palomar in this first volume (out of five, I believe) of the Luba and Palomar storyline and HOT DAMN, if my world wasn't rocked! These stories and characters grab hold of your heart, mind, and soul and promise never to let go. After being introduced to an eclectic cast of characters (the omniscient Chelo, the beautiful Pipo, the tormented Jesus, the ever-complex Luba, etc.) we are thrust into the loves and losses of the citizens of Palomar. The nearly 50 page titular story (and could be a stand alone graphic novella independent of the storyline) is enough to make you want to throw the book across the room after its VERY surprising tragic ending. This volume includes some of Gilbert’s most acclaimed stories such as the previously mentioned “Heartbreak Soup”, “An American in Palomar”, “For the Love of Carmen”, and “Duck Feet.” But some of my own personal favorites were the stories that really dug into the complex psychological and emotional wrenchings of certain characters like Luba in “Act of Contrition”, Jesus in “Holidays in the Sun”, and Israel in “Bullnecks and Bracelets.” All of the characters have been limned with the complexity of Faulkner, Tolstoy, and Morrison and they eventually seem less sketches within panels and more like palpable beings. This first volume reads like a collection of short stories and I could go on and on but I've already said enough. Five stars will be a rare rating for any book I read but Heartbreak Soup seems damn near perfect in its crafting.
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  • Mel
    January 1, 1970
    So I decided that I should give Gilbert's Love and Rockets stories another try. Last time I looked was right after I'd finished Jamie's and was still far too in love with Maggie and Hopey to be able to cope with what seemed very odd and ordinary Mexican village life. But it's been several months now and decided I should try reading them properly. I have to say I did like this volume quite a lot, while not quite the same love as Jamie's work it was still very very good. The characters were really So I decided that I should give Gilbert's Love and Rockets stories another try. Last time I looked was right after I'd finished Jamie's and was still far too in love with Maggie and Hopey to be able to cope with what seemed very odd and ordinary Mexican village life. But it's been several months now and decided I should try reading them properly. I have to say I did like this volume quite a lot, while not quite the same love as Jamie's work it was still very very good. The characters were really well developed and there was quite a bit of tragedy and real life despite the little bits of strangeness. Actually the stories in here were much more normal that the later stories that I've read. It was lots of relationships and children, but somehow that didn't get monotonous. Sometimes it was a little hard to remember who all the minor characters were but it seemed like a nicely fleshed out society. (And the guest appearences of the characters from the other comics was very cute! Particularly when Hopey said she'd never sleep again!) I'm definitely going to want to read the rest now.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    This is a very large compilation of Palomar stories- so large, in fact, that I ended up spending a good part of yesterday sitting outside the library on a bench reading so I could finish the darn thing and return it. I think sitting en pleine air only aided the stories, however- a bit of breeze and the general heat of a less-humid DC day got me into the feeling of this Central American town. I did not enjoy it at first, and was continually frustrated by not knowing what was going on, or who was This is a very large compilation of Palomar stories- so large, in fact, that I ended up spending a good part of yesterday sitting outside the library on a bench reading so I could finish the darn thing and return it. I think sitting en pleine air only aided the stories, however- a bit of breeze and the general heat of a less-humid DC day got me into the feeling of this Central American town. I did not enjoy it at first, and was continually frustrated by not knowing what was going on, or who was who. As the stories progress, however, the kids of the first stories mature (sort of) into the adults of the later stories, and the interconnections between them become clearer and heart-breakingly honest. The very last stories were my favorite, though some of the most wrenching, because finally we really understand who everyone is, and why they act in the ways that they do.This is one talented artist, and a talented storyteller. I highly recommend this volume, just make sure you set aside the time to really appreciate it.
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  • Saila
    January 1, 1970
    I love Gilbert Hernandez's Palomar stories. They are always funny, tragic, and for me, familiar and exotic at the same time. This collection, how ever, wasn't the most complete. It has several small stories, not always in chronological order, which makes it sometimes hard to follow. They refer to incidents happening on other stories, not included to this book. In most cases, it makes an impression of a story, that goes beyond what is revealed. But sometimes it's just irritating. Still, if I have I love Gilbert Hernandez's Palomar stories. They are always funny, tragic, and for me, familiar and exotic at the same time. This collection, how ever, wasn't the most complete. It has several small stories, not always in chronological order, which makes it sometimes hard to follow. They refer to incidents happening on other stories, not included to this book. In most cases, it makes an impression of a story, that goes beyond what is revealed. But sometimes it's just irritating. Still, if I have to give one reason why to read this comic, and also a fit description of it, here it goes: Thing about Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One hundred years of solitude made in to a comic book - and here you have it.
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