Sunday, February 7, 2010

Beto, Part 2

Gilbert Hernandez always seems to have two things, at least, going on at once.

His best stories are funny, but they also display an incredibly deep river of sadness. His characters are wacky and good-looking, they speak continually of love and lust, but they abandon their children with the blink of an eye.

And while his characters tell us one thing, his drawings sometimes show us something else.

In a 1993 four-page story called “Pipo,” included in his Human Diastrophism book, one of the Palomar collections, the title character reflects how her fashion business did so well “I had to fire my old seamstresses and hire faster, young ones. Yeah, I know; but that’s another story.”

Her comment refers to earlier remarks by other characters about the lovely Pipo’s employment practices. But more prominent is the image Hernandez shows us. As Pipo talks, we see smoke billowing behind her on the horizon.

Just how does she mean she “fired” those older seamstresses?

Read my earlier post on Gilbert Hernandez here. And on his brother and co-creator of Love & Rockets, Jaime Hernandez, here.

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