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crazy (but loveable) women

  • Jun 19, 2010
"LOCAS: The Maggie and Hopey Stories" by Jaime Hernandez is a collection of "Love and Rockets" comics from the 1980s through to the mid 1990s that follow two young women, Maggie and Hopey, along with their cadre of friends in the punk rock subculture.  The early stories have a science fiction flavor, with Maggie working as a mechanic on various otherworldly machines and on the side battling dinosaur-like monsters and evil super villains and writing letters to her best friend back home, Hopey.  After a while, the stories focus more on interpersonal relationships and the problems of life both in an out of the barrio.  The characters of LOCAS deal with murder, suicide, abortion, drug abuse, sexual assault and more, as well as more mundane issues life heartbreak, poverty, crazy families and misunderstandings.  Maggie and Hopey drift in and out of each other's lives and are occasionally lovers; even when they are apart or are fighting, their bond with each other runs deeper than any other in their lives.  Although the women in LOCAS are depicted in various states of undress more often than necessary, the characters themselves are strong, smart and nuanced, and the art is vivacious and alive.  The early stories are a bit slow and the text to graphic ratio is somewhat unbalanced, but Hernandez quickly finds his groove and the stories become so compelling that it's hard to stop reading them, and I want to at once both linger over the art and also keep turning the pages to find out what happens next.  LOCAS is essential reading for anyone interested in comics or in the punk subculture.

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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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ISBN-10: 156097611X
ISBN-13: 978-1560976110
Author: Jaime Hernandez
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books; illustrated edition edition
Date Published: October 17, 2004
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