Love & Rockets - classic or dud

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I may have asked this already on ILX.

anyway, is L&R any good? I bought the first book a while ago to see what all the fuss is about, and I found it rather unengaging.

DV (dirtyvicar), Tuesday, 11 May 2004 10:10 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I've never read it. Really, I stay away from comics that aren't superhero stories because I read comics for superheroics.

VengaDan Perry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 11 May 2004 12:47 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I am Dan.

Also, the first L&R fans I knew were the kinds of people who make you want to never like the things they like, which unfairly biased me against it.

Tep (ktepi), Tuesday, 11 May 2004 13:05 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I've never read actual issues / collections of L&R, but I've read an associated one-shot or two (The Maggie & Hopey Color Special, most notably), and enjoyed its gentle comedy, and I also enjoyed the art stylings of the Hernandez Bros., especially the one that draws just like John Romita.

Wasn't the 1st book more a sci-fi romp than the sort of thing that L&R became known for?

David R. (popshots75`), Tuesday, 11 May 2004 13:09 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I also used to confuse L&R with this:

... which had a "... COCAINE?" bit in its advertisements, which made me think it was going to be some lame Don't Do Drugs romantic comedy. Which it might've been, but it wasn't Love & Rockets after all.

Tep (ktepi), Tuesday, 11 May 2004 13:12 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I always think Rocket from the Crypt when I see Love & Rockets for some reason, even though I haven't read or listened to either one.

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 11 May 2004 13:31 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

b-b-but love and rockets has superheroes in it!

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Tuesday, 11 May 2004 15:09 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

WTF! You guys need to read it. It's probably my favorite comic ever. It's like somebody pulled out the entire imaginations of three (well, mostly two) really smart, incredibly artistic Hispanic boys in the 1980's and just layed it all out on paper.

Dan I. (Dan I.), Tuesday, 11 May 2004 18:29 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i haven't read it for 10 years but what Dan said. also Maggie=comic character crush.

mullygrubber (gaz), Tuesday, 11 May 2004 21:30 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"the death of speedy" is probably the best intro-to-jaime volume to get: it stands up pretty well on its own and isn't as arcane as the later books or um, dopey as some of the early stuff.

with gilbert you'd probably better just start at the beginning; it's hard enough figuring out what's going on without having to read everything out of order!

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Tuesday, 11 May 2004 22:51 (fourteen years ago) Permalink


By the time I get back from work today I want an Angel Love thread with 50 answers. (btw it was rubbish Tep.)

Love And Rockets is grebt but I've not read it in 10 years. I wonder if Morrissey has read it.

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Wednesday, 12 May 2004 06:22 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I've read Love & Rockets only spottily, but what I've read was definitely good. The final L&R story almost brought tears to my eyes.

Tuomas (Tuomas), Wednesday, 12 May 2004 08:54 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Do sample The Death Of Speedy and, if you want to try just one Gilbert volume, maybe Poison River. I think L&R is one of the best comics I've ever read. Ignore Mario, of course.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Friday, 14 May 2004 17:19 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Oh, Lordy. Love & Rockets starts out EXTREMELY spotty but promising--a couple of kids getting their free-form fantasies down on paper in sort of interesting ways--and in about eight issues becomes one of the GREATEST COMICS EVER.

My favorite Jaime book is "Wigwam Bam"; favorite Gilbert book is probably "Love & Rockets X," though I'm not in agreement w/ many people on that one. Maybe just go for "Palomar."

Douglas (Douglas), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 13:36 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"Death of Speedy" is my favorite Jaime book, and is also (as others have said) the best Jaime introduction. It also works very well as a standalone volume, because there are lots of flashbacks. I've given it as a gift several times.

morris pavilion (samjeff), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 19:01 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I don't think I've ever seen both "the golden years" and "the years after" portrayed so well.

soundtrack: The Pixies' cover of "I can't forget"

It was high and fine and free, oh you should have seen us

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 10:42 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"Death of Speedy" is my favorite Jaime book, and is also (as others have said) the best Jaime introduction.

OK. so should I just give up on "Music For Mechanics" and throw good money after bad acquiring a copy of "The Death Of Speedy"?

DV (dirtyvicar), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 11:28 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

maybe...whats in Music for Mechanics again? is the early stuff? what Douglas says is OTM

mullygrubber (gaz), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 22:26 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Explain me more about this "L&R has superheroes in it" thing? Or better yet ... what's the series about?

Tep (ktepi), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 22:40 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

in the early episodes there were futuristic elements to Jaime's stories (hover bikes etc) and superheroes. one of the characters, Penny, wanted to become a superhero. Gilberts early stories had monsters and weird stuff too.

then they got phased out.

mullygrubber (gaz), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 23:02 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Love and Rockets = genius. Read lots of it.

David Simpson (David Simpson), Monday, 24 May 2004 14:15 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
Woah I can't believe in all the years I've read Love and Rockets I never realized Luba was supposed to look exactly like Susan Sontag! It adds several layers of meaning to the boobs.

Dan I., Saturday, 10 December 2005 01:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

all of a sudden i am FOR interpretation all over again

mark s (mark s), Saturday, 10 December 2005 11:32 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

have the post first 50 L&Rs come out as paper collections yet?

mullygrubbr (bulbs), Saturday, 10 December 2005 23:45 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

First volume coming soon.

Deric W. Haircare (Deric W. Haircare), Sunday, 11 December 2005 00:06 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

That fantagraphics post is really helpful. I don't have Locas, since I bought the trades, but I'm pretty amazed at how exclusive they are--that huge thing doesn't include Flies on the Ceiling!

kenchen, Sunday, 11 December 2005 08:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

It's helpful but misleading. While whoever wrote those guides would have you believe otherwise, there is an awful lot of non-Locas/Palomar stuff in the original trades, most of it well worth reading.

An aside: I think I love Beto's Fear of Comics almost as much as Locas or Palomar.

Deric W. Haircare (Deric W. Haircare), Sunday, 11 December 2005 16:15 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Whoever = Fantagraphics publisher Kim Thompson, as noted in the "POSTED BY" bit. And how misleading are sentences like the PALOMAR book collects EVERY SINGLE "Palomar" story from LOVE AND ROCKETS #3 to #50, with the exception of about 42 late pages in LOVE AND ROCKETS VOL. 14: "LUBA CONQUERS THE UNIVERSE," excluded because they have plot roots in POISON RIVER.


Therefore, if you've purchased and enjoyed PALOMAR, your first stops will be LOVE AND ROCKETS VOL. 12: "POISON RIVER" (the early story of Luba) and LOVE AND ROCKETS X (a story set in then-contemporary L.A. which featured one of Luba's daughters and has since worked its way into post-Palomar continuity).


LOVE AND ROCKETS VOLUME 1 has about 60 pages of stories such as "BEM," "Music for Monsters," et al. (Also available much cheaper --five bucks total!-- as LOVE AND ROCKETS #1 and #2.)


There are four very early "Locasverse" stories in LOVE AND ROCKETS (Vol. 1) #1 which were not included in LOCAS because they were comparatively crude. As it happens, you can still buy the original 64-page LOVE AND ROCKETS #1 for only $2.50 through the Fantagraphics catalog -- or you can buy LOVE AND ROCKETS VOL. 1: MUSIC FOR MECHANICS, which reprints #1 and #2. Although this latter ploy will give you a duplicate copy of the 40-page "Mechanics" story which leads off LOCAS, the other 80 or 90 pages of comics are not collected in either LOCAS or PALOMAR, and well worth the price (especially Gilbert Hernandez's "BEM," featuring a pre-Palomar Luba.


There's about 100 pages of "Locasverse" stories that were cut from LOCAS because they focused on peripheral characters -- Rena Titañon wrestling stories, Penny Century larks, etc.; unfortunately for collectors, they're scattered in Volumes 2, 4, 5, and 6, which otherwise contain mostly stories collected in LOCAS and PALOMAR. (Volumes 7, 11, and 13 are COMPLETELY collected in LOCAS -- well, except for one 3-page story in Vol. 13 that didn't make the cut -- so you can ignore them.)


However, LOVE AND ROCKETS VOLUME 9: FLIES ON THE CEILING, while it does contain a number of pages collected in LOCAS, is a relative bonanza in this regard, with 37 pages of non-LOCAS "Locasverse" stories, including two of the very, very best: "Flies on the Ceiling" (the story of Izzy in Mexico) and "Spring 1982" (a haunting flashback to the early days of the Doyle character). Volume 9 also contains Gilbert's stunning "Frida."

He doesn't cover Mario at all, but didn't he disappear from L&R almost entirely after the first few, siphoned off into anthologies and Brain Capers and so forth? I don't remember anything non-Locasverse by Xaime at all, so he's covered. What else is there, maybe a five-page short by Beto every three books, if that? (nb: if at home I would actually check this, no belligerence intended in question!)

kit brash (kit brash), Monday, 12 December 2005 01:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yeah, it sounded complete, I was just surprised by the ommission of FLIES, since the comics journal ranked the 5-or-so-page story as one of the top 20 comics of all time!

kench, Monday, 12 December 2005 01:53 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yeah, the omission of that and the other Izzy stories etc. made me decide to spend $150 on TPBs 11-15 instead of $65 on Locas. So far this has only led to volume 11 being bought, because the bookshop doesn't have any of the later ones or Locas...

kit brash (kit brash), Monday, 12 December 2005 02:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i don't think i understood "flies"

tom west (thomp), Monday, 12 December 2005 16:41 (twelve years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
I think remember someone (Douglas?) commenting on how weird or fucked-up the new issue of Love & Rockets (#23?) is, but I didn't find it any more weird than the rest of nu-L&R?

Jordan (Jordan), Friday, 12 January 2007 15:28 (eleven years ago) Permalink

in the latest CJ there's an ad for a new series of 'manga format' COMPLETE chronological L+R reprints (one series for Jaime, one for Beto) - can't wait

Ward Fowler (Ward Fowler), Friday, 12 January 2007 19:05 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I think it was the combination of no Maggie/Hopey and Beto derailing both of his ongoing stories into sex scenes that are like the opposite of fanservice and screwing up everybody's lives.

Douglas (Douglas), Friday, 12 January 2007 20:06 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I can see that. I thought it was because of Ray's moustache.

Jordan (Jordan), Friday, 12 January 2007 20:12 (eleven years ago) Permalink

COMPLETE chronological L+R reprints

three volumes each for Locas and Palomar characters, then one at the end for Mario and Rocky & Fumble* and BEM and Errata Stigmata and all the other oddments. All from v1 #1-50, none of the subsequent series covered.

*(which I totally forgot about in my really-kinda-belligerent post up above)

nu-mongrel (kit brash), Saturday, 13 January 2007 00:48 (eleven years ago) Permalink

According to Kim Thompson, they're repackaging all the old L&R collections to be more accessible and in-narrative-order-y.

Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Saturday, 13 January 2007 19:07 (eleven years ago) Permalink

no, I'm 99.7% sure they're basically in publication order - it'd be interesting to have them re-sifted into narrative order, but mostly impossible/pointless given that both use flashbacks so heavily.

nu-mongrel (kit brash), Saturday, 13 January 2007 23:55 (eleven years ago) Permalink

So I just picked up "Blood of Palomar" for dirt cheap and have never read any L&R before. Is this a reasonable place to start or am I better off not reading it yet?

Casuistry (Chris P), Sunday, 14 January 2007 03:35 (eleven years ago) Permalink

it's ace and pretty self-contained, go for it.

nu-mongrel (kit brash), Sunday, 14 January 2007 05:52 (eleven years ago) Permalink

just read the first issue of "new tales of old palomar" and it was pretty good, way better than i expected.

zappi (joni), Sunday, 14 January 2007 06:15 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Chris, tell us what you think of it!

Douglas (Douglas), Sunday, 14 January 2007 06:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Well, that was confusing. Forty thousand characters (although they were fairly well distinguished). So many little narrative jumps! I felt like I was reading every third panel of a comic.

Anyway I'm not sure what I think of it.

Casuistry (Chris P), Monday, 15 January 2007 01:55 (eleven years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Having pretty much raced through LOCAS over the past few days (early, early mornings and late, late nights being quite beneficial in this regard), I'm curious as to if there are more Izzy stories around and, if so, where I might find them. It seems quite clear that there's an Izzy storyline or two elliptically alluded to throughout the Maggie/Hopey adventures and I'm eager to read...


R Baez, Thursday, 22 March 2007 19:38 (eleven years ago) Permalink

R, most of Izzy's story happens off-panel; the one major, major exception is the excellent short story "Flies on the Ceiling," which is not in LOCAS but is in MAGGIE THE MECHANIC and the old L&R vol. 9, also called "Flies on the Ceiling."

Where to next w/r/t LOCAS: if you don't love the wrestling stuff, skip over WHOA, NELLIE!, which is mostly about Xochitl and Gina, and head straight to LOCAS IN LOVE, then DICKS AND DEEDEES, then GHOST OF HOPPERS. The stuff after that hasn't been collected yet; it starts with #11 of the current L&R series (mostly the "Day By Day With Hopey" story).

Douglas, Thursday, 22 March 2007 20:29 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The new L&R collections are so pretty. **grumble** formatting** **etc**

Chuck_Tatum, Thursday, 22 March 2007 20:43 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Okey dokey, Douglas.

R Baez, Friday, 23 March 2007 20:29 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"Flies on the Ceiling" is NOT in Maggie the Mechanic :(

chaki, Saturday, 24 March 2007 02:45 (eleven years ago) Permalink

o god i love that last LUBA collection AND dicks and deedees. i kinda thought i'd lost interest in this for good my. maggie is...lovely again. and doyle is there too...

mully, Saturday, 24 March 2007 11:22 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Starting on pg. 1 of the whole shebang — “Mechan-X Starring Maggie Race Hopey (by Izzy Ruebens)” — it’s kind of astounding how consistent it is with the rest of the series to come. Mag & Hope’s dialogue “sounds” just like those two, as we’ll always know them... Maggie even kind of looks like Vicki Glori.

stan in the place where you work (morrisp), Monday, 17 September 2018 04:30 (two months ago) Permalink

(Huh, Vicki and Rena are mentioned two pages later — Vicki defeating Rena, “She used the ropes!,” etc. So much of the storyline was there at the inception...)

stan in the place where you work (morrisp), Monday, 17 September 2018 04:36 (two months ago) Permalink

The long Mechanics story is an early masterpiece... first of many, I suppose.

stan in the place where you work (morrisp), Monday, 17 September 2018 05:39 (two months ago) Permalink

“100 Rooms” isn’t Jaime’s best, but it’s cool to read the TPB version with an eye to the panels he added in ’86 (they’re not hard to notice). He really added some depth to the story.

growing up in publix (morrisp), Wednesday, 26 September 2018 05:22 (two months ago) Permalink

Closing out Vol. 2 — “Toyo’s Request” is a story I haven’t given a lot of attention in the past, but it feels like a transition to Jaime’s “mature style”... both in the economy of the storytelling, as well as the terrific layouts and art (particularly the panels of Rena driving thru the desert, and fighting Bull Marie). I guess these are Jaime’s first real wrestling action scenes in the series.

The Rocky & Fumble story at the end of the book is (of course) delightful...

brush ’em like crazy (morrisp), Tuesday, 2 October 2018 04:52 (two months ago) Permalink

Everything really snaps into place with “The Lost Women”... the confidence & accomplishment both in Jaime’s art (seemingly every pose of every figure) and narrative (covering all the core characters, in multiple locations) is hugely impressive.

The “realism” and emotional stakes are heightened, both in the Mechanics setting and the “back at home” scenes... you have the sense of something richer being made out of familiar elements. (It’s also cool to notice characters being introduced in the Locas world who will take center stage in stories to come, still years down the road.)

brush ’em like crazy (morrisp), Wednesday, 3 October 2018 05:49 (two months ago) Permalink

The Locas/Locos stories in Vol. 6 are classic (...Rand Race takes Mag & Hope to lunch; Joey goes looking for his Ape Sex record; Mag & Hope move in with Terry; etc.). This is really the beginning of "peak Jaime," leading into Death of Speedy. Also the first appearances of Doyle and Danita.

brush ’em like crazy (morrisp), Friday, 12 October 2018 20:14 (one month ago) Permalink

appreciating these flashbacks, ty, had forgotten about the "looking for the Ape Sex record" story

sleeve, Friday, 12 October 2018 20:33 (one month ago) Permalink

Sure — I always think of “The Return of Ray D.” + “The Death of Speedy Ortiz” as the masterpiece they are, but the other stories in this book are so great, as well. “Jerusalem Crickets,” the pitch-perfect punk rock tour story ("If you were really hard core, you'd have thrown a full bottle."); segueing into Tex & Hopey's friendship and weird visit with Penny at Costigan Manor... Maggie & Ray getting together, followed by Mag’s ringside tour with Tia Vicki (as her “accountant”); and then everything coming together (for now), on both coasts, in "Valley of the Polar Bears."

This is the first L&R volume I encountered (early in high school), and it still feels like the heart of it all.

(Bonus note: this read-through is the first time I've had a phone at hand to search the snippets of lyrics that the characters rqndomly sing, or which float up from a boombox on an apartment floor, etc. I never knew what most of these songs were until now — Ray listens to the Replacments; young Maggie sings Hank Williams with the words slightly skewed; etc.)

a neon light ablaze in this green smoky haze (morrisp), Thursday, 25 October 2018 05:12 (one month ago) Permalink

I also moved forward to the “Isabel in Mexico” story... I know this is a banal point, but now that I’m a father, the stuff involving babies/kids has become super affecting to me.

a neon light ablaze in this green smoky haze (morrisp), Thursday, 25 October 2018 05:26 (one month ago) Permalink

here's a downloadable compilation of all the IRL songs from Locas in L&R volume 1

ageing Betty H. Smith (sic), Thursday, 25 October 2018 05:34 (one month ago) Permalink

Ah, that’s awesome!

a neon light ablaze in this green smoky haze (morrisp), Thursday, 25 October 2018 15:41 (one month ago) Permalink

I also have a spotify playlist for this.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Thursday, 25 October 2018 15:52 (one month ago) Permalink

young Maggie sings Hank Williams with the words slightly skewed

“my eyes are still curly and my hair is still blue” <3<3<3

JoeStork, Thursday, 25 October 2018 16:13 (one month ago) Permalink

That’s the one! haha

(Thanks, Moodles — gonna listen right now)

a neon light ablaze in this green smoky haze (morrisp), Thursday, 25 October 2018 16:34 (one month ago) Permalink

J’G/Jug (Pronounced Jig)

greta van vliet (morrisp), Tuesday, 30 October 2018 04:26 (one month ago) Permalink

I've always wondered if that's a real slang term or something Jaime made up.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Tuesday, 30 October 2018 06:27 (one month ago) Permalink

lol same

Nhex, Tuesday, 30 October 2018 06:37 (one month ago) Permalink

it's real, and it's spectacular

Sing The Mighty Beat (sic), Tuesday, 30 October 2018 06:48 (one month ago) Permalink

I forgot that, in “Wig Wam Bam,” Jaime actually begins to ID the songs at the bottom of the page.

greta van vliet (morrisp), Wednesday, 31 October 2018 04:28 (one month ago) Permalink

This flashback scene at “Lois’s” house still cracks me up (“Uh, how about a... a... platypus?”).

greta van vliet (morrisp), Wednesday, 31 October 2018 04:34 (one month ago) Permalink

I’ve always loved the scene where Nami walks in on Doyle in the shower. That “worlds collide” scenario — a crusty, homeless punk in Daffy’s upper–middle-class home (which looks just like a friend’s childhood house in Thousand Oaks; at least the parts you see of it) — is so “narratively resonant” for me.

greta van vliet (morrisp), Wednesday, 31 October 2018 04:50 (one month ago) Permalink

The "Nan Tucker" stuff at the end of Wig Wam Bam is super bizarre, but it's such a great longform story... particularly everything happening back at home with Ray, Danita, Doyle, etc. I love Doyle walking out of town at the end, casting his shadow on all the sleeping characters as he passes by.

I guess many of the gang's East Coast adventures have a slightly surreal, fantastical (and sometimes sinister) vibe -- including the visits with Penny, the wrestling tour, etc. It's sort of the reverse of a longstanding narrative cliche, in which characters travel west to "reinvent" themselves, encounter strange people with constructed identities, etc. In the "Locas" world, California is home of the mundane, familiar, everyday life; and the East Coast is where shit gets crazy and people are "fake."

A lot of the "Locas" storyline (I'm realizing in this re-read) involves characters being haunted by events in their past, trying to fix things so they can "move forward," etc. (I think this theme is expressed even more explicitly later, with stories like Ghost of Hoppers and The Love Bunglers.) And this isn't limited to cases of childhood trauma, or Izzy's personal history, etc. -- it also applies to relatively "well-adjusted" characters, like Rena and Vicki Glori, and decisions they made or things that happened to them in adulthood.

Anyway, it's terrific how Jaime develops this theme by cutting back and forth between flashbacks & present day, starting early in the series; so that the "past" is always right there, bleeding into the present, nipping at the characters' heels, revealed to the reader simultaneously...

greta van vliet (morrisp), Friday, 2 November 2018 17:26 (one month ago) Permalink

(One minor note is that the timeframe gets a little funky here... at the end of Wig Wam Bam, one of the kids posting the flyers says that it's been five years since Hopey's band broke up on their East Coast tour... which matches the passage of time IRL, but it doesn't seem to fit with when the milk cartons started appearing, during Maggie's reunion w/Hopey in "Ninety-Three Million Miles From the Sun." I think that was "two years later," and it wasn't long before the events of Wig Wam Bam.)

greta van vliet (morrisp), Friday, 2 November 2018 17:29 (one month ago) Permalink

I’m reading “Chester Square” now, in the individual issues. I think I only read it once or twice (never bought the collection). It’s pretty rough seeing Maggie this degraded.

too busy or too stoned (morrisp), Saturday, 10 November 2018 05:10 (one month ago) Permalink

In “We Want the World and We Want It Bald,” Hopey says she hasn’t seen Hoppers “in about six years”; so I guess the timeframe does check out. Didn’t seem like she was crashing on couches for that long...

too busy or too stoned (morrisp), Saturday, 10 November 2018 19:35 (one month ago) Permalink

Interesting retcon in issue #46 — circling back to the very beginning.

Also, this is the issue where Jaime & Beto do each others’ characters. The results speak for themselves, ‘Nuff Said.

too busy or too stoned (morrisp), Saturday, 10 November 2018 19:59 (one month ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

FYI -- (most?) everything is 40% on today. #wannacyber?

my guitar friend wants his money (morrisp), Monday, 26 November 2018 18:14 (two weeks ago) Permalink

The "Penny Century" miniseries (as collected in Locas in Love) finds 40-ish Ray living in Hollywood, grousing about young people, and serving as narrator for long stretches. I never loved this move, because (a) it made me kind of dislike Ray as a "person," and (b) he seems to serve as something as a stand-in for Jaime, the writer (at least when he makes observations about music, culture, etc.)... which is very on-brand for comics, but doesn't quite feel L&R to me.

On the other hand, I like the stories about Negra (H.R. Costigan's estranged teenage daughter); and Jaime's casual, short-form pieces in this book are great.

(As a sidebar: Penny's floating all around, but what happened to her two kids? I don't remember if they're seen/addressed again, other than in the fantastical Ti-Girls story. Guess I'll find out...)

plant a twee or die (morrisp), Thursday, 29 November 2018 05:14 (one week ago) Permalink

Jaime writes so well about teenage girls -- characters like Nami, Negra, and (later) Tonta -- who are "ordinary" suburban kids, but maybe a little smarter/more perceptive than their friends. He presents these characters in a realistic, matter-of-fact way, respecting their emotional lives without "romanticizing" them or overplaying their drama. It's highly impressive for a male writer, IMO.

plant a twee or die (morrisp), Thursday, 29 November 2018 05:52 (one week ago) Permalink

Re: “To Be Announced,” the series of gently surreal, 6-panel “young Ray” vignettes — the “H-bomb” installment deserves a f’in Eisner Award.

plant a twee or die (morrisp), Friday, 30 November 2018 15:19 (one week ago) Permalink

I appreciate your live-'blogging' fwiw. It'll probably still be another couple years until I'm ready for my umpteenth read-through or I'd play along at home.

all lite up and very romatic (Old Lunch), Friday, 30 November 2018 15:48 (one week ago) Permalink

Thanks, glad I'm not being annoying...

(I ordered The Love Bunglers collection in the Black Friday sale, so I can re-read it in that format and see if anything's been added, etc. Haven't re-read the New Stories material since publication, other than Ti-Girls.)

very legal & very cool (morrisp), Friday, 30 November 2018 20:37 (one week ago) Permalink

Material was added for the collection, which was then carried over to the most recent Jaime digest.

all lite up and very romatic (Old Lunch), Friday, 30 November 2018 20:39 (one week ago) Permalink

Hey -- looks like after the next Jaime book comes out in March (Is This How You See Me?), Tonta gets her own collection in July!

very legal & very cool (morrisp), Friday, 30 November 2018 20:46 (one week ago) Permalink

After all that stuff's been collected, I would toss those "New Stories" issues right in the recycling bin (LOL) -- but one of them contains a published letter from me! :P

very legal & very cool (morrisp), Friday, 30 November 2018 20:48 (one week ago) Permalink

I ebayed all of the New Stories, confident that I would not cry if I never get to read the Beto parts again

sans lep (sic), Friday, 30 November 2018 23:14 (one week ago) Permalink

I would cry if I had to read the new Beto parts again.

He said captain, I said wot (FlopsyDuck), Saturday, 1 December 2018 02:51 (one week ago) Permalink

Jaime really gets into the 8-panel grid in L&R Vol. II.

underqualified backing vocalist (morrisp), Saturday, 1 December 2018 22:13 (one week ago) Permalink

...beyond that, his storytelling is also much more "decompressed" than it was in Vol. I. Reading straight through, it's very apparent how Jaime began taking a different approach in the new series.

underqualified backing vocalist (morrisp), Sunday, 2 December 2018 06:13 (one week ago) Permalink

I think I’m also “appreciating” these Ghost of Hoppers stories a little more, knowing where things are headed in the long term. Not that I disliked them the first time around... but, for example, the business with “The Frogmouth” doesn’t feel as random, knowing that Vivian (and her extended family) will become mainstays of the series.

Maggie’s rootlessness / restlessness in this period also feels less like she’s “treading water,” after seeing how things end up in the New Stories. It just took a long time (in real, publication time) to get there.

underqualified backing vocalist (morrisp), Sunday, 2 December 2018 06:44 (one week ago) Permalink

Reading The Education of Hopey Glass now -- great stuff. But Maggie mentions that she lived with Ray "for two years," which squares with my perceptions and gets me bugged again about the post-Wigwam Bam timeline that I was hung up as I read it (and which had me flipping back and forth, trying to come up with a "No-Prize" type explanation for how Jaime somehow shoehorns in a few extra years for Hopey to have been living back east).

This time, I try searching the Internets ("love and rockets timeline"), and find this page:

Time slip: Jaime just took too long to draw WB; the events could have taken as much as a year, but hardly three years. So far he hasn't pegged any post-WWB events strictly to the calendar; if he does, the characters will have simply blipped over two or more years or so without anything happening.

Thanks, Bud! So I'm not crazy. I think there are actually two time-slips, though:

* Hopey's band goes on tour, and Mag & Ray get together, circa 1988. Mag & Hope reunite in "Nintey-Three Million Miles From the Sun" -- which was published in '88, but takes place after a two-year "jump" (as marked by dialogue, plus stuff like the age of Danita's son, Daffy's move to college, etc.) -- so it's now 1990 in the L&R-verse. The gang stays with Penny, then Ray goes home and gets together with Danita (he knows it's over with Maggie).
* When Wigwam Bam begins, it's now 1990 in real life, but could only be a few months, at most, after "Nintety-Three Million Miles..." (this is also when the milk cartons start appearing). Mag & Hope have their fight outside the party ("Just 'cause you can turn off your 'ethnic' half whenever it's goddamn convenient!"); this is the last time they'll see each other until the final page of Vol. I.
* The rest of Wigwam Bam happens. In the "Epilogue," published in '93, some kids say they "almost" snuck Hopey's picture into the National Missing Kids Center when the broke up on tour, but "chickened out" -- "then recently, five years later, Sigi got this cool idea...". This is Jaime's major f-up; he seems to try to force the passage of time in the book to "catch up" with real-life time. I guess you're supposed pretend it was already 1993 when Wigwam Bam started... but it was clearly meant to be 1990 in the book itself, there's no way to account for those extra years.
* When we next see Maggie, in "Chester Square" (Jan. '93), we learn that she had a rough time getting out of town after her fight with Hopey. When Maggie arrives in Texas, she's had a week or so of bus travel since that fight; though she seems to have aged a few years somehow (maybe it's the haircut she got on the way).
* For the remainder of Vol. I, Maggie's in Texas -- the action seems to take place over a few months, at most. But when Hopey cycles back west, in "We Want the World..." (July '94), she says has hasn't seen Hoppers in "about six years." This is the second "time slip" -- once again, Jaime makes narrative time catch up to real-world time, but the series of events in Texas don't seem to jibe with another year having passed. Maybe I'm wrong about that one, though.

Sorry to go into such detail here; it would have driven me nuts if I didn't write it down. I think it just sticks out because Jaime's usually so careful with the chronology.

underqualified backing vocalist (morrisp), Monday, 3 December 2018 07:18 (one week ago) Permalink

Danita’s entire relationship w/Ray somehow also happens during the “Chester Square” era (she and Elias end up joining Maggie in Texas after the breakup); so I guess I have to accept that Maggie’s in TX over a year, even though it doesn’t feel like it.

underqualified backing vocalist (morrisp), Monday, 3 December 2018 07:41 (one week ago) Permalink

this book also has a timeline:

sans lep (sic), Monday, 3 December 2018 08:05 (one week ago) Permalink

I like the unbalancedness of the timeline, it's a bit like that thing as you get older, when five years can suddenly pass like a long weekend, or when you suddenly realise the last time you saw one of your best friends was 2014

Chuck_Tatum, Monday, 3 December 2018 12:51 (one week ago) Permalink

Looking forward to re-reading Chester Square, I kind of glossed over that one after Wigwam Bam

Chuck_Tatum, Monday, 3 December 2018 12:52 (one week ago) Permalink

Me too, I enjoyed revisiting it.

underqualified backing vocalist (morrisp), Monday, 3 December 2018 15:00 (one week ago) Permalink

This revelation about Maggie & Ray having been longtime comics readers is... interesting? It feels like Jaime wanted to work comics culture into the book, but it doesn’t quite track with the history as we know it (it’s Penny who’s the superhero nut; and Ray seemed a bit too much of a “serious artist” type to be a comics guy). Maggie’s comics fandom does become key to Ti-Girls, anyway.

I still think the sections with Ray as narrator are a little “off”; the guy’s just kinda boring! But I guess that’s (part of) the point — to be seeing Maggie, and these other colorful characters and events, through his Joe Schmo eyes... a change in perspective.

underqualified backing vocalist (morrisp), Wednesday, 5 December 2018 07:05 (six days ago) Permalink

This brief story “Tranpas pero no Trampan,” which begins with Vivian and her friend Milena auditioning to be dancers for a Spanish-language variety show, is excellent. Jaime writes some of his best dialogue for Vivian — every line of hers on pgs. 6-7 is perfect (“What do they have in this stupid fuck Valley?”). She’s increasingly interesting and complex, and (simultaneously) maybe Jaime’s least likable/“sympathetic” main character since Terry.

Meanwhile, Ray is such a nerd! Gah

underqualified backing vocalist (morrisp), Saturday, 8 December 2018 06:18 (three days ago) Permalink

On my 3rd read-through of “Ti-Girls”...
I never know quite what to make of it, though I enjoy it. I’d be interested to hear/read what Jaime has to say about it.

Next up / finally will be the Love Bunglers hardcover that recently arrived in the mail. I’m not exactly “looking forward” to revisiting that story — I remember how disturbing/depressing it is — but it’s the last piece of the puzzle (and I also remember how good it is).

underqualified backing vocalist (morrisp), Tuesday, 11 December 2018 06:50 (one hour ago) Permalink

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