I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got three new comics:

  • Walking Dead – 70
  • Rasl – 3 (Still missing 4)
  • Usagi Yojimbo – 126
  • And now for a review of something I’ve read recently.

  • “Locas: The Maggie and Hopey Stories” by Jaime Hernandez
  • This seven hundred page volume collects all of the “Love and Rockets” stories from 1981 to 1996 that star Maggie and Hopey. I came to “Love and Rockets” late. I think I stared reading it regularly around 1988. A lot of these stories were new to me and I haven’t read any of the others since they first came out.

    What I mainly have to say about “Locas” is, “Wow, is this good”. I’ve always enjoyed Jaime Hernandez’s work but being that it could be published infrequently I usually had forgotten the thread of the story with each new issue that came out. It would sometimes take me half of the comic to figure out the subtleties of what was going on. I never got the chance to sit down and read them all at once. Now I have.

    This book is filled with characters. Besides Maggie and Hopey there are about another half dozen female characters. Even reading these all together I had a little trouble at first keeping track of who was who. The women changed their hairstyles every now and then and sometimes there were flashbacks to even more hairstyles. Eventually I got it all straight and enjoyed everyone’s comings and goings.

    “Love and Rockets” (and this book of course) started out with a sci-fi angle. Maggie was a rocket ship mechanic who went around the world fixing rocket ships. The story was really about her friendship/romamnce/strangely undefinable attraction to Hopey and all their friends that surrounded them. After a couple of years the whole sci-fi angle was dropped and not mentioned again.

    They early stories when Maggie and Hopey were two young, teenage, punk rock chicks making the scene in L.A. were the favorite stories of most of the young punk rock chicks (and guys) that I knew back in my college days. Maggie and Hopey were messed up, out of control, and just trying to navigate life.

    I can see how that attracted my fellow students and why they were disappointed when Maggie and Hopey grew out of that stage but I think the story really takes off in the second half of the book. Maggie and Hopey are torn apart, new characters take their turns on the stage, and life goes on whether anyone wants it to or not. I really had a hard time putting down the book when it got to the second half. It’s that good.

    Jaime’s artwork is, of course, spectacular. If I had to convince anyone who has seen his art of that I wouldn’t even know how. If looking at it doesn’t convince you then words wont.

    Overall this is “A” level stuff. As good as comics get. If it’s not on your shelf it should be.