These superb stories from the nearly 20-year run of Love and Rockets
define a world of Hispanic gang warfare, '80s California, punk rock, women wrestlers and the subtle battle to stay true to oneself. Hernandez's main characters are Maggie and Hopey, two adorable lesbian rockers who start out in a somewhat vague relationship and are then are separated by adventures both grand and demeaning. Maggie is a magnificent comics character, a tempestuous naïf who wears her heart on her sleeve when she's not throwing it at a succession of bad boys who ignore her, even though Hopey is secretly the love of Maggie's life. Hopey, a mohawked imp, is more opaque, a symbol of the youthful rebellion of punk rock that all the characters are trying to return to in some way, even as real life sweeps them further away from their dreams. Maggie's weight gain over the years sends her self-esteem on a downward spiral, while Hopey goes on an endless tour with a band. Along the way, Hernandez gradually peels away the strip's early sci-fi trappings (dinosaurs and rocket ships) to create a devastatingly naturalistic world. Sharp b&w drawings capture the characters in minute detail with a wide range of emotions. Finally collected into one volume, these stories are among the greatest comics ever put to paper, and an essential piece of the literature of the punk movement.
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