So how great is Gilbert Hernandez? Novelist Junot Diaz declares, “He [should] be considered one of the greatest American storytellers. It’s so hard to do funny, tragic, local and epic, and he does all simultaneously, and with great aplomb.”

Cartoonist and graphic novelist Gilbert Hernandez will present a slide talk on his work on Monday, April 15 at The Johns Hopkins University. Hernandez’ talk, “From Funnybooks to Graphic Novels,” will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Room 101 of the F. Ross Jones Building, Mattin Center, on the Homewood campus at 3400 N. Charles St. in Baltimore. Immediately following, he will sign copies of his wonderful new book, “Marble Season,” courtesy of Atomic Books and Drawn + Quarterly.

In 1981, along with his brothers Jaime and Mario, Hernandez created “Love and Rockets,” a landmark, award-winning comic book series informed by the L.A. hardcore punk rock scene.  The long-running series’ DIY ethic and compelling, multiracial female characters earned it a well-deserved spot in the pantheon of alternative comix.  Love and Rockets also spawned the “Palomar” stories, Hernandez’ magic realist magnum opus.  Set in a fictional Central American border town, the vivid, diverse characters of “Heartbreak Soup” and “Human Diastrophism” prompted The New York Times to declare Hernandez “one of the great craftsmen of American comics.”

Hernandez’ current graphic novel, “Marble Season,” is a semi-autobiographical work set in a 1960s California suburb against the golden age of the American dream and the silver age of comics.  It’s a subtle, deft rumination on the redemptive and timeless power of storytelling and world-building in childhood.

Hernandez, 56, lives in Las Vegas with his wife and daughter.

To download images of Hernandez’ work, go to:

“From Funnybooks to Graphic Novels” is co-sponsored by Homewood Art Workshops and Homewood Arts Programs. Visitor parking on campus is available in the South Garage, 3101 Wyman Park Drive, Baltimore, Md. 21211. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, call 410-516-6705.