Love and Rockets: The First Fifty: The Classic 40th Anniversary Collection
Mentioned in case someone wants to give me a late birthday present
In 1983, I was 20 years old and had started reading comics again after taking a break from the genre during high school. I heard through the grapevine that a new comic, Love And Rockets, was supposed to be good. By the time I heard about it, they had just published the second issue. I bought a copy at my local comic book store.
This comic was by two brothers from Oxnard, California, Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez. They aren’t collaborators exactly—they each write and draw their own stories. At first I was attracted mainly to Jaime’s astonishing artwork (an artist friend once said to me that Jaime draws like an angel), but Gilbert’s moving stories quickly brought him up in my estimation. They have both been an important part of my artistic life ever since. (Side note: the band Love and Rockets, most famous for the hit song “So Alive”, were named after the comic book.)
It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that I’ve known and loved the Hernandez’s comics for 40 years. It must be astonishing for them to ponder that this youthful lark has been their life’s work for 40 years. And to celebrate, their publisher is coming out with a boxed set collecting the first 50 issues of Love and Rockets.
This is a huge chunk of the Hernandez’s oeuvre, but not all of it. In fact, both Jaime and Gilbert did some of their finest comics subsequent to the 50th issue of Love and Rockets. Nonetheless, it does seem like a fitting tribute to two masters.
There is so much I could say about their work and what it means to me. But I’ll save that for future posts.
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