Tonta

Jaime Hernandez. Fantagraphics, $19.99 (104p) ISBN 978-1-68396-205-2
When the reckless and exuberant Tonta, star of this antics-filled graphic novel, opens her roller-coaster tale, her biggest worry in life is her ongoing crush on Eric Lopez, lead singer of Ooot. Her attempts to gets Eric’s attention are interrupted by complications spinning out of a rich country club owner’s pursuit of Tonta’s beautiful half-sister, Vivian. Dark clouds are ushered in by a crew of lowlifes, a gun, and a shooting—and hints of far more disturbing family secrets. As usual, Hernandez (the Love and Rockets series) effortlessly sketches a rich supporting cast: “The Gorgon,” an ugly girl who befriends Tonta and watches the goings-on from her forest hangout; and Gomez, a classmate who timidly participates in Tonta’s mission to uncover their PE teacher’s suspected secret pastime as a lucha libre wrestler. These lighthearted shenanigans come to a screeching halt when Tonta’s mother is accused of arranging her husband’s murder—and maybe the deaths of several previous husbands. Hernandez revisits many of his favorite themes in a story that seamlessly shifts from Archie-like teen adventures to the burdens of a dysfunctional family. This rambunctious ride may be more minor in the Hernandez catalog, but it’s still a master class in cartooning. (July)
Reviewed on : 04/18/2019
Release date: 07/23/2019
Genre: Comics
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