ROMANCE

Marble Season

(text & illus.). Drawn & Quarterly. 2013. 128p. ISBN 9781770460867. $21.95. LITERARY FICTION
COPY ISBN
OrangeReviewStarIn this semiautobiographical chronicle of young Huey and the 1960s California neighborhood he grows up in, the popular and talented Hernandez (best known for the innovative alternative comic Love and Rockets, cocreated with his brothers Jaime and Mario) captures a snapshot of childhood that will resonate with most readers. Neither overly rosy and romantic nor dark and dramatic, the book focuses on the real bulk of a child's daily life: the long summer months in which nothing eventful happens, the neighborhood kids who come and go, the tomboys and bullies, the temptation of small-time crime, and the confusion and innocence of early sexuality. Parents and classrooms are never depicted; the action takes place in the real kid world—alleys, front yards, and friends' bedrooms. Peppered with casual pop culture references to the Beatles (called "The Beatos" by the kids), Elvis, Mars Attacks, and, of course, plenty of pulp comics and monster magazines, the book features characters who hang in delicate, sweet balance between the separate worlds of childhood and adolescence.
VERDICT This thoughtful homage to growing up (specifically, growing up geek) will appeal to a broad spectrum of readers. An essential addition to all teen and adult comics collections.

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