|Love and Rockets nº 1, Fantagraphics, 1982|
“Love and Rockets” appeared firstly has a self-published comic book by Jaime, Beto and Mario Hernandez in 1981 and in the next year was published by Fantagraphics books.
I started reading it at 1989 and at the time I couldn’t put on my mind on what was going on with all the flashbacks and all short stories with no particular end. I remember that it were the characters Errata stigmata (perhaps due to this character Bauhaus band made their track "Stygmata martyr"), Maggie, Hopey, Rand Race,Isabel Ortiz, Ray and of course Luba that stuck on my mind. I continued reading these magazines till 1995 and I don’t remember why I stop reading them, but I had always on my mind these characters among the short and long stories by Los Bros Hernandez. I was also listening to a lot of Bauhaus and Love and Rockets then (and I knew that the band name derived from the comics that the Bauhaus former members loved).
30 Years of “Love and Rockets” and not a single traditional superhero made by Los Bros and without magic superpowers and mega villains?
|Love and Rockets, the band|
They put on their stories also lots of music and references to it (making several puns with “Love and Rockets” comic and “Love and Rockets” band) as well as references to painters and their lives like Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera and also on literature with references to Gabriel Garcia Marquez and even Dostoievski.
Jaime Hernandez was the artistic guy on the magazine with excellent drawing skills and use of shadows while knowing how to pace a story. (I remember mostly the first mechanics stories with a woman (Maggie) wanting to be a mere mechanic; a job mostly apllied to men ). He also made his stories more realistic with the approaching of a more suburban way of life by all the characters. We see the female role changing itself on the new wave, punk movement. The decay of people over drugs on a comic book with characters while noticing their body changing with more weight with the ageing process (we notice this more on the characters Maggie and Ray); we notice also the huge influence of wrestling on the mind of Jaime with characters Rena Titañon and Vicki Glori (perhaps over being a sport for masses on Mexico) who were wrestling players. The character Vicki Glori was aunt of Maggie and due to this perhaps passed her knowledge of how hard life’s and that we can achieve anything in life if we fight for it (this was what I got from this). Still on Jaime’s timeline we see also one of my favorite comic book characters: Penny Century that searched a better life by marrying billionaire H.R. Costigan.
Other thing that was “different” on Jaime’s artwork was how he displayed his characters with normal clothes and a rough attitude (very 80’s).
For me it seems that Jaime tried to produce the best soap opera ever.
I can’t and won’t recommend any particular book to start reading Jaime’s “Love and Rockets” timeline, because I really love to read this comic book as sequences of the lives of the characters and not as a mere story on them, so I prefer to read them on the “Love and Rockets” comic book issues (50 issues on magazine format – Vol. I and 20 issues in comic book format). All books and storylines are available by Fantagraphics Books with lots of trades, Hardcovers and comic book issues:
1 - Locas: The Maggie and Hopey Stories
2 - Locas II: Maggie, Hopey, and Ray
3 - Maggie the Mechanic, by Jamie Hernandez (Locas Book 1, from Volume I) -272 pages
4 - The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S., by Jamie Hernandez (Locas Book 2, from Volume I) -272 pages
5 - Perla la Loca, by Jamie Hernandez (Locas Book 3, from Volume I) -288 pages
6 - Amor Y Cohetes, by Jamie & Gilbert Hernandez (Non-Loca and Palomar comics from Volume I) -280 pages
7 - Penny Century, by Jamie Hernandez (Locas Book 4, from "Penny Century" and "Whoa, Nellie!" comics, plus "Maggie and Hopey Color Fun") -240 pages
8 - Esperanza, by Jamie Hernandez (Locas Book 5, from Volume II) -248 pages
9 - Whoa Nellie!, by Jaime Hernandez, June 2000, ~70 pages (An one shot story on the universe of Jaime with a cameo by Maggie)
|The references to music are always present|
Another interesting thing to notice was that Los Bros temporarily ceased publication in 1996 after the release of issue #50 (still in magazine format), while they went on to do separate series involving many stories involving the same characters (like the mini-series made for vortex: "Mister X" among others). From 2000 to 2007 the comic book appears again (on a comic book format) and in here we could see that the characters changed a lot with age but were still the same (no multiple personalities disorder, no drama, no need of changing the world; only their dreams, lives and goals like normal people) .Over this kind of narrative; the format, the characters, the stories, the artwork, I do believe that “Love and Rockets” stories are one of the best ever, be them in comics, movies or literature.
|The cast of L&R|
Most of the stories that appeared on the first volume of “Love and Rockets” 50 issues with Jaime and Beto art and stories appeared on these collections:
|Jaime drawing on a guitar|
(* principally Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez; some pages by Mario)
Preface by Carter Scholz
2 - Chelo’s Burden, by Los Bros Hernandez, June 1986, 150 pages
Preface by Gary Groth
3 - Las Mujeres Perdidas, by Los Bros Hernandez (only Gilbert and Jaime), August 1987, ~140 pages
4 - Tears from Heaven, by Los Bros Hernandez (Gilbert and Jaime; one cover by Mario), January 1988, ~125 pages
5 - House of Raging Women, by Los Bros Hernandez (only Gilbert and Jaime from now on), September 1988, ~125 pages
6 - Duck Feet, by Los Bros Hernandez, September 1988, 125 pages
7 - The Death of Speedy, by Jaime Hernandez, November 1989, 125 pages
8 - Blood of Palomar, by Gilbert Hernandez, December 1989, 125 pages
9 - Flies on the Ceiling, by Los Bros Hernandez (principally Jaime), October 1991, 110 pages
10 - Love & Rockets X, by Gilbert Hernandez, July 1993, 90 pages
11 - Wigwam Bam, by Jaime Hernandez, March 1994, 125 pages
12 - Poison River, by Gilbert Hernandez, September 1994, ~190 pages
13 - Chester Square, by Jaime Hernandez, July 1996, ~155 pages
14 - Luba Conquers the World, by Gilbert Hernandez, December 1996, ~130 pages
15 - Hernandez Satyricon, by Los Bros Hernandez (Mario, Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez), August 1997, 110 pages
Texto: Manuel Espirito Santo, Imagens: André Azevedo
Second part : Beto Hernandez on “Love and Rockets”