Sloth is a graphic novel by Gilbert Hernandez (one half of (Los Brothers Hernandez of Love and Rockets fame) about a young teenager by name of Miguel who willfully enters into a coma. After a year he wills himself out of it, which is where the story begins.

In the opening, Miguel states that he sought the oblivion of deep sleep as an antidote to the anomie of suburbia. The life he returns to is fairly nice—he enjoys the company of a beautiful girl and lives with his grandparents—and the town itself is not a bad place to live, aside from being small and relatively quiet. Even so, something strange lurks still: there's this local lemon orchard, subject of many a local legend involving shallow graves and an otherworldly goat-man. And then Miguel never knew what really happened to his Mom, so he almost believes the vicious rumors kids told him growing up. That his dad's in jail and is generally unreliable doesn't help much.

Before that whole coma thing, Miguel was in a band with his girlfriend and their mutual friend Romeo. Fittingly enough, the band was called Sloth. There's something of a muted love triangle going on there also. 

This story will surprise you. There's an exploration of parallelism and wish fullfilment which makes an otherwise bland teen romance comic exciting.

The art is excellent: the lines crisp and the grayscales suggest appropriate coloration. An enjoyable read.

This book was published in hardback by DC's Vertigo imprint in 2006. The lettering was done by Jared K. Fletcher.

ISBN 9781401203665

20 USD new, 27 canuck bucks


Also, next month Los Brothers Hernandez will be touring select cities on the East coast of the US to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of Love and Rockets.