Even though a variety of comics initially got me interested in graphic novels (or comics for grown ups), the Hernandez brothers created a world which intrigued me the most. Eisner and Tardi were/are great too (I’ll get to that in antoher post, maybe), but with Love and Rockets Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez struck a chord with me. Life, love, sex, action, punk, weirdness, sci-fi, death, art etc it’s all there.
At the library I found Love and Rockets Book #07 ‘The Death of Speedy’ (album-sized) and I was hooked. Hopey, Ray and Maggie. Maggie, the lovely Margarita Luisa “Maggie” Chascarrillo, was and still is my favourite. Ray is also a character I feel much at home with (if you ever read the comic, you’ll probably say no shit). Overall all of the characters and stories are highly “recognizable” from real life, in the way that they are human. Some stories are simple and some are surreal, just like life itself.
Back then, I hunted down as many of the books I could at the library, but needless to say it was impossible to get all the stories through that source.
Now I’m sort of filling the gaps, buying these collection books called the Love and Rockets Library. I’m (re)starting out with The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S. and it feels great.
Recommended reading on this topic:
How to Read Love and Rockets (Fantagraphics)
Comics College: Los Bros Hernandez (Comic Book Resources)
Graphic Novel Friday: The Summer of Love (and Rockets) (Omnivoracious)