“Birdland” by Gilbert Hernandez

[amtap amazon:asin=1560972009]

A three-issue series and a soft-cov­er col­lec­tion with addi­tion­al mate­r­i­al, pro­duced by Gilbert Her­nan­dez, “Bird­land” is the sto­ry of the trou­bled mar­riage between Mark and Fritz Her­rera and the lives of the peo­ple (espe­cial­ly Mark’s girl­friend Bang-Bang, Mark’s broth­er Simon with a fix­a­tion on Fritz and Fritz’ sis­ter Petra with a fix­a­tion on Mark) sur­round­ing them, espe­cial­ly their sex­u­al lives. What is par­tic­u­lar­ly rel­e­vant is that Dr. Fritz main­tains a psy­chi­atric prac­tice using hyp­no­sis (and using her gold­en heart-shaped pen­dant as a hyp­not­ic focus) in which she (and even­tu­al­ly her sis­ter) has sex with her hyp­no­tized male clients.

Then there’s the alien abduc­tion (Greys, it appears) ele­ments and the added era-span­ning mate­r­i­al which leads to Mark and Fritz’ pos­si­ble rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, all of which draws the sto­ry into ‘mag­i­cal real­ism’ . Its all quite a con­glom­er­a­tion with very lit­tle over­all plot or char­ac­ter devel­op­ment but that’s not real­ly the point: the whole sto­ry is more of a snap­shot of the rela­tion­ships between the char­ac­ters with plen­ty of sex included.

Note: The entire book is total­ly NSFW or view­ing by any­one under legal age. It is also very much out of print (the pub­lish­er is out of busi­ness) and hard to find.

Adden­da: Gilbert Her­nan­dez is broth­er to Jaime Her­nan­dez. Togeth­er they pro­duced the award-win­ning and crit­i­cal­ly acclaimed “Love and Rock­ets” comics. Los Her­manos Her­nan­dez are two of the best artists and sto­ry­tellers in the comics busi­ness, indi­vid­u­al­ly and coop­er­a­tive­ly: their work has con­sis­tent­ly shown a strong B&W art style with strong depic­tions of the female char­ac­ters and a con­cen­tra­tion on His­pan­ic life and char­ac­ters. Gilbert’s tale here is not as wide­ly known as his oth­er works and is cor­re­spond­ing­ly just as dif­fi­cult to find. And although “Bird­land” does share some char­ac­ters with “Love and Rock­ets” they are tech­ni­cal­ly not the same people.

Rec­om­men­da­tion: The book is still worth check­ing out, if you can ignore the ram­pant sex through­out There are a num­ber of lev­els that require sev­er­al read­ings to explore.

Ref­er­ences:

One Response to ““Birdland” by Gilbert Hernandez”

  • Dylan says:

    The ram­pant sex isn’t meant to be ignored, of course, or it would­n’t be on every page. This book is unapolo­get­i­cal­ly porno­graph­ic, with an under­cur­rent of sur­re­al­ism and post-mod­ern sym­bol­ism that takes over the sto­ry, char­ac­ters, and action in the last chap­ter. “Bird­land Recon­sid­ered” is a great read to explore some of the deep­er lev­els of the book.
    Note: Fan­ta­graph­ics, the pub­lish­er that owns the Eros imprint, is still in business.

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