Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez were inducted into the Eisner Awards’ Hall of Fame last month, recognizing their cartooning excellence and specifically their sprawling work on Love And Rockets. Their Fantagraphics series debuted 35 years ago, and it’s still going strong, recently returning to a magazine format and a semi-annual shipping schedule after being published as graphic novels that came out once a year (if that). The series isn’t the most accessible to new readers—both brothers are telling stories that have been developing over the course of decades—but these stories are very rewarding for longtime fans who have been following these characters through the different phases of their lives.
This exclusive preview of Love And Rockets #3 has Jaime making a sharp change in direction, jumping back in time to spotlight a moment in the adolescent development of his central character, Maggie Chascarillo. His recent stories have focused on how Maggie’s relationships with her friends and her hometown have changed now that she’s middle-aged, and now he’s rewinding the clock to look at the early years of those relationships to emphasize just how far Maggie has come. His cartooning is as sharp as ever, creating a strong impression of the grimy environment Maggie has fled to as she tries to enter the punk scene. Her awkwardness turns into revulsion when she gets an unwanted French kiss, and Jaime’s impeccable character expressions break down each emotional beat with total clarity.
Also included in this preview is a page from the ongoing “Animus” story, which has a very different tone and a much more bombastic art style, highlighting Jaime’s versatility as an artist. Love And Rockets #3 goes on sale today, and even without extensive background knowledge, readers should check it out to see two comic-book masters at work.