It begins in the year 1900, with the scream of a newborn. It ends, 100 pages
later, in the year 2000, with the death rattle of a 100-year-old man. The infant
and the old man are both Julio, and Gilbert Hernandez’s Julio’s Day (originally
serialized in Love and Rockets Vol. II but never completed until now) is his latest
graphic novel, a masterpiece of elliptical, emotional storytelling that traces one
life — indeed, one century in a human life — through a series of carefully
crafted, consistently surprising and enthralling vignettes.
There is hope and joy, there is bullying and grief, there is war (so much war — this is after all the 20th century),
there is love, there is heartbreak. While Julio’s Day has some settings and elements in common with Hernandez’s Palomar
cycle (the Central American protagonists and milieu, the vivid characters, the strong familial and social ties), this is a very
much a singular, standalone story that will help cement his position as one of the strongest and most original cartoonists
of this, or any other, century.
"Julio's Day is a story of one man's life, but it's a great deal more than that as well. It's the story of the life of a century, also told as if a day. Beginning with Julio's birth in 1900 and ending with his death in 2000, the graphic novel touches on most of the major events that shaped the 20th century." – Brian Evenson, from his introduction
"A haunting performance and about as perfect a literary work as I've read in years. Hernandez accomplishes in 100 pages what most novelists only dream of — rendering the closeted phlegmatic Julio in all his confounding complexity and in the process creating an unflinching biography of a community, a country and a century. A masterpiece." – Junot Díaz
"In Julio's Day, Hernandez shows how evil can flourish within folds of close-knit community, how the uncle everyone knows could be a monster." – Jeet Heer