Monday, December 11, 2006

New Tales of Old Palomar #1

Gilbert Hernandez

Hernandez' new comic, as the title implies, relates new stories from the classic early years of the village Palomar from Gilbert and brother Jaime's shared comic Love & Rockets. The characters that fans have seen age over the years under Gilbert's hand, and characters that have long since faded from the pages of the comics, are seen here once again in their youth when Chelo was sheriff and characters hadn't started to leave for America. It's refreshing to live amongst these characters once more. Gilbert began this new series with a rather simple story, but managed to throw in some disturbing images like those of monstrous statues that stand sentinel outside of the town proper. With such a huge cast of characters, Gilbert has plenty of material to work with here, although not much can happen in terms of major continuity changes, it could be fun to see gaps filled and histories revealed among the familiar faces. New Tales of Old Palomar is a part of Fantagraphics' Ignatz line, and as such was printed in an oversized issue. If any creator deserved to be a part of the prestigious line, it was Gilbert, but the book didn't really benefit from the oversized treatment as other artists' works may have, although the comic certainly didn't suffer for it either. This is a great start to the series and a nice blast from the past. A-

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