One excellent graphic novel

Locas II: Maggie, Hopey & Ray
Jaime Hernandez
Fantagraphics 2009

This 418-page volume is the latest reprint collection of the Love and Rockets series which Hernandez began in 1981 with his brothers Gilbert and Mario. Gilbert is known for the extraordinary characterization of his Palomar stories, set in a small Mexican village with a soap-opera sized cast of characters, while Jaime is known for the Locas stories, which have followed the adventures of Maggie and Hopey, originally two chicano punks from Southern California, for nearly 30 years.

These characters have developed and changed (mentally and physically) over the years into two of the most fully realized women characters in comics, and this sequel to the first huge Locas collection demonstrates how devotion to characters over time can push the boundaries of comic art into something exquisite. These collections are extremely expensive to buy, so hooray for Central Library.

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2 Responses to “One excellent graphic novel”

  1. Great. To be a good critic, and many critics forget this, you have to be in touch with the sources that the artist/writer is drawing on.

    I’d be interested in what you have to say about illustrated editions of stories that weren’t conceived as visual works. Harry Clarke’s treatment of Poe is superb and Arthur Rackham’s is at least charming… and then there’s cover art – judging covers by the covers perhaps?

  2. During our late eighties comics phase, the two we primarily collected were Cerebus and Love and Rockets. So there’s doubtless a big stack of single issue Hernandez Bros in Mal’s shed, as well.

    Part of what made them interesting was the contrast between the two brother’s work. I preferred Jaime’s, probably because it was more accessable to a Black Flag-listening teenager.

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