Wednesday, March 7, 2012

20 HH #4 Heartbreak Soup part 2

Reading the first half of Gilbert Hernandez's Heartbreak Soup only portrayed a portion (obviously) of the overall function of the many short stories.  In reality the functions of the stories were interlinked in a way that was not visible on a partial scale.  It wasn't until the full graphic novel was complete did the overarching cyclical nature of Gilbert's work stand out.  Many of the stories that link are done thought shifting points of view from one character to another, wherein each character revisits a particular moment in time shared amongst themselves.   Pages 162 panel 3 and 236 panel 7  are one such example of two characters, Luba and Heraclio, who share a single event together.  Page 162 is a flash back within a flashback from Heraclio involving Luba and their 'moment' together which is again revisited from Heraclio's point of view on the later page explaining it more in-depth.  On page 226 panel 3, Vincente has a nightmare about Luba falling down a hole.  This event then actually takes place on page 244 panel 4 from the view point of Lupe.  There are localize examples of cyclical aspects even as visual elements on page 206 panel 9 with its immediate counterpart on panel 7 of the adjoining page.  Even the beginning story of Luba in which the children are introduced contains a cyclical arch.  Page 7 introducing the twins Aurora and Israel, remains ambiguously unexplained until page 268 shifting from an omniscient narrator's point of view to Israel's.     These various loops, cycles and archs all serve to strengthen the overall story.  Gilbert forces the reader to come back to certain events multiple times also creates a sense of importance within the characters and certain events that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.  Strangely enough many of these cyclic aspects remain solely within the second portion of the graphic novel.  This might be attributed to the fact that the ordering of the stories are not necessarily their original ordering though the time signatures seem to indicate a constant move from '83 onward.  Either way this technique show a strength and maturing in Gilbert's writing that was previously absent in his previous works


  1. Mmnnnh i would really like to see the examples, is it possible to scan and upload samples for review purposes :O? it would kick ass to see :D

  2. I'll try to upload examples on the next one :) Good idea though to have the visuals to go with the text. Thanks!