Sunday, March 7, 2010


A lot of small towns have a place that attracts urban legends. In Sloth, that place is a lemon orchard where serial killers are said to bury the bodies of their young female victims. Or maybe there is a mythical goatman who is looking for some poor soul to take his place prowling the grounds. Three teenagers, Miguel (whose nickname is the title of the book), his girlfriend Lita, and best friend Romeo, go into the orchard late at night with a video camera hunting for a glimpse of any supernatural creature.

Mostly, the story revolves around the relationships between these three. Miguel lives with his grandparents after his drug-addicted mom mysteriously disappeared. At the story's beginning he slips into a coma because he can't deal with his life, and he remains in that state for a year. After he wakes he finds a different world where people have matured a bit and gone in different directions. As he gets back into his routine however the trio happen upon something in the orchard and their lives take several turns in reality. By the end of the story, the reader has to wonder what really did happen with these people.

Gilbert "Beto" Hernandez wrote and drew this fantastical coming-of-age tale. He is most famous as part of the Hernandez Brothers, the creators of the long-running and celebrated comics series Love and Rockets. He has won multiple Harvey Awards during his career, and in 2009 he won a United States Artists Fellow Award in Literature. He is also a co-creator and co-star on The Naked Cosmos, a low budget TV show about an eccentric prophet.

As many of Hernandez's works, Sloth has been well accepted. Critic Bill Sherman stated that Sloth "is arguably the cartoonist's most self-realized work to date." Walter Biggins called it "graceful" and "mesmerizing." UTEP graduate student Cira Montoya also celebrated the book and provided some ways that teachers may be able to use it with a class.

More information and a preview can be found at the book's official page from publisher Vertigo.

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