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Sloth s/c

Sloth s/c back

Gilbert Hernandez & Gilbert Hernandez


Page 45 Review by Tom

Miguel Serra is an unexceptional youth in a sleepy coastal town who, in an act of rebellion against the hum-drum, wills himself into coma. He's literally bored into his mind. Waking a year later in perfect health, apart from the sloth-like pace his motor skills have been reduced to, he finds himself something of walking urban legend. A subject his girlfriend Lita has become an expert in and together with Miguel's best friend, Romeo, they begin investigating other urban legends, becoming obsessed with the supposedly haunted lemon orchard and tales of a "Goatman" who according to legend keeps watch over the spirits of the dead until he can convince someone to take his place through will power alone. Bothered by nightmares about the lemon orchard and the mother he's never known, Miguel becomes convinced his incarcerated, drug dealing father buried her in the haunted grounds and that the Goatman will lead him to her grave.

In the ultimate fake-out, Gilbert leaves us questioning whether the first half was real at all, as suddenly the roles of Lita and Miguel are reversed, and Romeo becomes a rock god. Was the first half just a coma-induced parallel world (as it would seem to suggest with Miguel's airborne excursions) or is Lita's Rock 'n' Roll love triangle any more plausible a reality? Both the previously comatose teens experience the sloth-like after-effects of their slumber, but have you ever tried to run in R.E.M. sleep?

This is a complex and astounding original work which is impossible to second-guess and leaves much open to interpretation. If Daniel Clowes' DAVID BORING is your idea of light reading, or you thought Donnie Darko was a bit too linear, it is vital you pick this up.

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