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“A haunting performance and about as perfect a literary work as I've read in years. Hernandez accomplishes in 100 pages what most novelists only dream of – rendering the closeted phlegmatic Julio in all his confounding complexity and in the process creating an unflinching biography of a community, a country and a century. A masterpiece.” – Junot Díaz
It begins in the year 1900, with the scream of a newborn. It ends, 100 pages later, in the year 2000, with the death rattle of a 100-year-old man. The infant and the old man are both Julio, and Gilbert Hernandez’s Julio’s Day (originally serialized in Love and Rockets Vol. II but never completed until now) is his latest graphic novel, a masterpiece of elliptical, emotional storytelling that traces one life — indeed, one century in a human life — through a series of carefully crafted, consistently surprising and enthralling vignettes.
There is hope and joy, there is bullying and grief, there is war (so much war — this is after all the 20th century), there is love, there is heartbreak. While Julio’s Day has some settings and elements in common with Hernandez’s Palomar cycle (the Central American protagonists and milieu, the vivid characters, the strong familial and social ties), this is a very much a singular, standalone story that will help cement his position as one of the strongest and most original cartoonists of this, or any other, century.
“Julio's Day is a story of one man's life, but it's a great deal more than that as well. It's the story of the life of a century, also told as if a day. Beginning with Julio's birth in 1900 and ending with his death in 2000, the graphic novel touches on most of the major events that shaped the 20th century.” – Brian Evenson, from his introduction
“In Julio's Day, Hernandez shows how evil can flourish within folds of close-knit community, how the uncle everyone knows could be a monster.” – Jeet Heer
2014 Eisner Award Nominee: Best Graphic Album – Reprint
Named to the The Cartoonist Studio Prize for Best Graphic Novel of the Year: 2013 Shortlist
An ALA GLBT Round Table 2014 Over the Rainbow List – Graphic Narrative selection
One of The Globe and Mail's five Best Comics of 2013
One of NPR's Best Books of 2013
Ranked #8 on The A.V. Club's Best Graphic Novels and Art Comics of 2013
Honorable Mention on the Publishers Weekly Comics World 2013 Critics' Poll
One of The Montreal Gazette's top graphic novels of 2013 One of The Advocate's five Best LGBT Graphic Novels of 2013
Originally published in April 2013
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•Comics website and blog
“An excellent addition to the already stellar Love & Rockets series, as well as marking yet another pillar of graphic narrative genius that has made Gilbert Hernandez such an innovative storyteller.”
•Publishing trade magazine
“With more collections of his work becoming available, the walloping punch of Gilbert’s vision is becoming increasingly evident … A marvelous and tightly scripted epic whose last page is a heart-stopper.”
The Comics Journal
•American comics magazine
“It is the great lost Beto comic, belatedly given new form and new life. Julio’s losses—most particularly that of his deepest yet most inadmissible love, another boy-turned-man—ring louder in this context, gathered into themselves as a single striking volume.”