06/19/2017

Caleb Orecchio here with brotherly love between Los Bros Hernandez, and my own brother. And, as always, links.

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Hello Friends, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about “Easter Hunt,” the collaboration between “1967 Gilbert” and “1993 Jaime.” These thoughts arrived in tandem with the recovering of my baby brother’s childhood drawings.

“Sit on a Tack” by Josh Orecchio

My little brother recently graduated high school, so my mom was going through a bunch of his childhood keepsakes where she found a treasure trove of cartoons and writing “assignments” he did in elementary school and sent me a bunch of photos—he should have been the cartoonist! The level of joy I got from looking at these was immeasurable. Surely it’s because he is my little brother, yet there is something so immediate and unrestrained about these that just makes one smile. He didn’t know about inking or redrawing or rewriting or style or a punchline or anything. He just put it down on paper.

Love and Rockets #42 by Los Bros Hernandez

Please open up your copies of Love and Rockets #42 (Vol. I) to page 13. There you will find a rare collaboration between Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez titled, “Easter Hunt.” “Written and originally drawn by Beto sometime around 1967,” and “drawn by Xaime in 1993.”

This is one of my favorite L&R pieces I think. It’s funny, but not in a clever way—it is just relentless, unhindered imagination. Pure spirit which makes one laugh with joy. Jaime’s drawing is as perfect as I’ve ever seen it—if I had to guess, he probably had a blast making it. It’s a great anatomy study. Classic Hopey and Maggie (stand-ins, more or less, for generic characters) are drawn in every which way. Every panel is dynamic and not without movement. There is an energy teeming in this strip that is undeniable to me.

“Easter Hunt” spread drawn by Xaime

The undeniability of this comic, in my opinion, stems from Young Gilbert. If Wikipedia is correct (and we all know it always is) Gilbert would have originally made this comic when he was approximately 10 years old. Merely a child, unburdened by a sense of artistic importance or of the knowledge of the legendary path his future-self will pave, he hurtles us through this jovial stream of consciousness.

“Easter Hunt” excerpt

I can’t help but think that Gilbert has come full-circle. Most evident in his “Fritz books” (and of course, Blubber, and Garden of Flesh, and, let’s not forget, Birdland) Gilbert seems to have shed the pretension of being an important cartoonist and chooses to follow his bliss to unbridled id and no apologies. The pace of his current comics move at break-neck speed and do not stop for idle readers waiting for a “message” or “lesson.” It is art at its most primal; fearless, hermetically-sealed, and, dare I say, child-like. Child-like (not childish), like in the sense of talking about Brian Chippendale’s comics or even some of Lynda Barry’s work—all senses of superiority or pretentious talking-down-to are thrown away and what you see is what you get.

“Easter Hunt” credits

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“Belly Dancer” by Josh Orecchio

“Three Wishes” by Josh Orecchio

“The Key” by Josh Orecchio

“When I Am 100 Years Old” by Josh Orecchio

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if you don’t know, now you know

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Caleb Orecchio

Caleb Orecchio is a cartoonist living in Dayton, OH. His strip, 'Joanie and Jordie', appears every weekday on the Comics Workbook Daily News. He hosts the weekly Dayton Comics Club with fellow cartoonist/designer, Jason Hart.

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