Plasma Pool


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Love and Rockets

Aysha Pamukcu

Love and Rockets

Thank you, Fantagraphics, for compiling 15 years of the Love and Rockets comic series into 700 pages of punk rock, heartbreak, and self-discovery. Locas: The Maggie and Hopey Stories presents Jaime Hernandez’s indie masterpiece in the entirety of its run between 1981 to 1996, chronicling the lives and loves of the two title characters. Through ’80s-era southern California, readers follow the adventures of Maggie — think Bridget Jones, had she been a bisexual Mexican-American mechanic — and her sometime-girlfriend, the punk rock musician Hopey. Stylistically, the bold black-and-white line art falls somewhere between the suggestive simplicity of Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis and the sleek drama of Frank Miller’s Sin City. In tone and treatment, though, Love and Rockets has Art Spiegelman’s deft touch for capturing genuine humanity, from the mundane to the sublime, in a few panels.  Hernandez plunges headlong into an ambitious range of issues, from the glass ceiling to sexual exploration, punk nihilism to Mexican-American identity. And unlike American classics like Superman or Wonder Woman, Maggie and Hopey grow and evolve — aging, gaining and losing weight, cycling through jobs and lovers. Add a touch of magical realism by way of sci-fi, and you have a serious contender for the American comic canon.  — Aysha Pamukcu

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