Tuesday, 7 September 2010

My hit list #8 Love and Rockets

The Hernandez brothers, Jamie, Gilbert and on occasion Mario are the artists and writers behind Love & Rockets: Los Bros, as they're sometimes called, have been responsible for some of the most stylish, beautifully rendered, most complex comics of the past 30 years. Given the longevity of Love and Rockets it is not just a case of starting at the beginning when recommending them. Non comic readers may choose to stop reading at the end of this sentence. In which case see you tomorrow. However this would be a shame as Love & Rockets have certainly entertained me over the last three decades.

issue #1 July 1982                            issue #1 Vol 2 August 2004

As these books have been repackaged and reformatted a number of times Fantagraphics Books, the publishers of Love & Rockets, has a guide to navigating the various overlapping reprints of the three Love & Rockets series (and assorted associated projects). This is the best introduction for the new reader.

Like most artistic endeavors Los Bros took a while to find their feet and style in the comic world therefore their work from the mid nineties onward is generally of a higher quality, and more immediately engaging, than their earlier work.

What runs through the heart of Love & Rockets is the strength and lives of the characters; Subtleties of emotional states and how characters relate to each other and themselves over time makes L&R the joy to read that it is.

Jaime Hernandez's comics have been devoted to his Locas stories, also known as the Maggie and Hopey stories, which follow three decades or so in the lives of two women who grew up in the L.A. punk rock scene. Gilbert Hernandez has a bigger and broader bibliography--the main body of his stories in Love & Rockets and beyond involves a single extended family of characters.

The thing about Love & Rockets is that you want to follow the journey of the many characters and along the way you will laugh, shed a tear and be invested in them. The creators also deliver esoteric work, science fiction, soap operatics and multiple level story telling. And above all Love & Rockets is a hell of a lot of fun.

Take a chance. Try Love & Rockets.

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having said that;