Luba's Comics and Stories #4

Posted: Tuesday, October 19, 2004
By: Amos Simien

Creator(s): Gilbert Hernandez
Publishers: Fantagraphics Books
From: USA
Price: $3.50 (US) $5.25 (Can

Luba's Comics and Stories #4, the comics companion to Gilbert Hernandez's ongoing Luba comic series, is basically a kind of anthology series that allows Gilbert to individually examine and play with the various characters who make up Luba's large cast. The title of this issue is "The Light of Venus;" Venus is Luba's niece, the elder child of Luba's daughter, Petra, the beach body sex goddess.
Venus is self-absorbed, but is nonetheless very observant of the people who surround her. Hernandez makes looking at other characters through Venus' sensibilities an exercise of exacting detail. He is so blunt in revealing the less attractive aspects of his characters that he humanizes them, and that may be the reason so many people who buy their (superhero) comics in comic shops avoid his work. Mainstream comics are not so much about ideals, but are often about juvenile fantasy and wish fulfillment. Hernandez's art is to make comics that are about imperfection and causality.

As time goes, Hernandez's illustrations are more and more about expressiveness. His line and brushwork, each and every swipe of pencil, pen, and ink are dedicated to not only expressing story, setting, and characters, but also to expressing emotions and ideas. While I might find this issue a little dry, I will gladly remain on the rocky path of this master cartoonist.

In a Word: Very good.

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