“Birdland Reconsidered”: The roots of Gilbert Hernandez’ sex comic in Reich’s orgone energy.

Posted by on November 30th, 2009 at 5:45 PM

BirdlandCoverPublished by Eros Comix
Original series was four comic books (Birdland vol. 1 #1-3, vol. 2 #1), 1990-1991
Expanded version (Eros, 1992) contains 15 pages of new material, including the one-page strip, “Tierra de Pajaro” from True North #2, a free-speech benefit book published by the Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund.
Black and white with color covers, 104 pp; ISBN: 1-56097-200-9, US $14.95

“Him and his daddy used to sit inside
And circle the blue fields and grease the night.
It was as if someone had spread butter on all the fine points of the stars
cause when he looked up they started to slip.
Then he put his head in the crux of his arm
And he started to drift, drift to the belly of a ship,
Let the ship slide open, and he went inside of it
And saw his daddy hind the control board streamin’ beads of light,
He saw his daddy hind the control board,
And he was very different tonight
cause he was not human, he was not human.”

–       Patti Smith, Birdland


Birdland may be Gilbert Hernandez’s single most misunderstood and underappreciated work.  The book is mostly known for its graphic sex, which is so pervasive, so raunchy and so outrageous, it was released as a standalone series, despite the fact that the four-part story is tangentially tied into Love & Rockets continuity (in a 2007 interview with The Daily Crosshatch website, Hernandez described Birdland as having occurred in “another dimension” so as not “to spoil the relative purity of the Palomar work”).

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