Cover image for Bumperhead
Title:
Bumperhead
Author:
Hernandez, Gilbert, artist, author.
Edition:
First hardcover edition.
Publication Information:
[Montréal, Québec] : Drawn & Quarterly, 2014.
Physical Description:
119 pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Summary:
"Bumperhead follows Bobby, a young slacker who narrates his life as it happens but offers very little reflection on the events that transpire. He lives in the moment exclusively and is incapable of seeing the world outside of his experiences. He comes of age in the 1970s, making a rapid progression through that era's different subcultures and in a short period of time segues from a stoner glam rocker to a drunk rocker to a speed-freak punk. He drifts in and out of relationships with friends, both male and female. Life zooms past him" --
General Note:
Chiefly illustrations.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781770461659
Format :
Book

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Central Library FICTION Graphic Novel Central Library
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Frank E. Merriweather Library FICTION Graphic Novel Graphic Novels
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Anna M. Reinstein Library FICTION Graphic Novel Graphic Novels
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Summary

Summary

A fascinatingly disjointed tale of drugs, rock and roll, and adolescence from a legendary cartoonist

The Love and Rockets author, Gilbert Hernandez, returns with Bumperhead , a companion book to Marble Season . Whereas Marble Season explored the exuberant and occasionally troubled existence of the wide-eyed preteen Huey, Bumperhead zeroes in on disaffected teenhood with its protagonist, Bobby.
Bumperhead follows Bobby, a young slacker who narrates his life as it happens but offers very little reflection on the events that transpire. He lives in the moment exclusively and is incapable of seeing the world outside of his experiences. He comes of age in the 1970s, making a rapid progression through that era's different subcultures and in a short period of time segues from a stoner glam rocker to a drunk rocker to a speed-freak punk. He drifts in and out of relationships with friends, both male and female. Life zooms past him.
Hernandez's approach captures the numbness and raw undirected anger and passion of a young man who waits for life to happen to him, not noticing all the while that it is happening. Subtle and thought-provoking, Bumperhead is a fascinating read.


Author Notes

Gilbert Hernandez was born in 1957 in Oxnard, California. In 1981, he co-self-published the first issue of Love and Rockets with his brothers, Mario and Jaime. Embracing strong female lead characters and punk culture, the series stood out from the male-dominated comics of the time. Hernandez and his brother Jaime have continued Love and Rockets for three decades. In the ensuing years, Hernandez has won nearly every industry award, as well as the prestigious United States Artists Literature Fellowship. He currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with his wife, Carol, and his daughter, Natalia.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In last year's Marble Season, Hernandez offered a sympathetic view of a 1960s suburban childhood. This companion work takes an equally incisive look at a troubled young adult in the subsequent decade. We first see Bobby as a preadolescent hanging out with his friends, discovering girls, and dealing with his unassimilated Mexican-immigrant father, and readers follow him through the decade's fashions, drugs, and music. After high school, the unambitious Bobby takes a janitorial job and continues to drift through a leaden existence, buoyed only by his discovery of punk rock and his turbulent relationship with the mercurial Chili Madrid. As Bobby barely makes it into middle age, he achieves an acceptance of his life that seems to come less from wisdom than from weariness. Hernandez's artwork, though typically masterful, is less flamboyant than usual; the suburban setting and Bobby's mundane life provide little occasion for graphic flair. The indispensable visual gambit here is his keen character design, which tellingly shows how Bobby and his friends fared over the course of the decade.--Flagg, Gordon Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Starred Review. Following up on his portrait of childhood in Marble Season, Hernandez returns with this heartbreaking, ambitious, and fascinating portrayal of Bobby, a kid growing up in Oxnard, Calif. The book is broken into five parts, each focusing on a key juncture in Bobby's life, that together span the period from childhood to middle age. Bobby falls for and loses girls; he's manipulated and beaten up, then broken down and wounded by his father and his boss at the office building where he's a janitor. He is brought into and pushed out of various music scenes and groups of friends, and we're with him every step of the way; his frailties are as universal as his dreams, as revealed through first-person narration that expresses his confusion, anger, and, sometimes, joy. "When you can talk to a beautiful woman about stupid shit like UFOs then you know life is good," he says at one point. Hernandez's art is characteristically gorgeous--clean lines and strong contrasts, with expressive, unique characters, subtly changing as Bobby's situation does. Bobby comes to life as a sympathetic but complicated character, and the book's darker elements--the nightmarish sky, Bobby's father's secret down in Mexico, and the tablet owned by one of the characters that can predict the future--create a creepy, textured, and mysterious background to his mostly disappointing life adventures. Do not miss this delicate, heartbreaking masterpiece. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


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