Monday, October 12, 2009

Re-reading Love and Rockets

Tom Spurgeon wrote a great post on his comics reporter website about comics you might re-read and how they might help you reflect back on life in general and specific moments mirrored in comics memories, in particular. I immediately agreed with his choice of Jaime Hernandez's "Death of Speedy" storyline, since I just reread the whole thing a couple months ago. This is probably one of Jaime's shorter storylines, so that may have something to do with why I always pull this story out rather than "100 rooms" or "House of Raging Women" (not to mention the endless saga beginning after the "Death of Speedy"-storyline continuing through the end of the original series). In my opinion, it's Jaime's most realistic story as there really are no fantastic or supernatural elements until the very end (when they really hit hard, emotionally). The artwork is not as good as Jaime's current style, but how I remember copying those panels over and over again when I was in high school. Jaime's style back then was kind of uneven, in a GOOD way, as there were highly realistic renderings next to Harry Lucey-level hijinx next to old-style Mechanics renderings. Just a wonderful transistional phase that I really bought into at the time it was published, and of course still do every time I reread it. However, I didn't recall HOW much I bought into Jaime's story until I read this passage by Spurgeon, "[...]and most importantly have broken with the simple desire it invoked in me to want to live the way Hernandez depicts these people living their lives[...]". I identify with that statement, so much, as I was a very shy, isolated person when these characters dropped in my lap, so to speak. Not necessarily wanting to be a gang member, but just hanging out on the fringe of existence as Ray and Maggie and their ancilliary characters were doing in this story. The last paragraph of Spurgeon's post is probably my favorite writing on LOVE AND ROCKETS I've come across, it definitely lives up to the source that inspired it.

P.S. Steve Ditko's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and Carl Barks WDC&S 10-pagers, also make my short list.

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