Books, Thoughts

Off the Shelf: LOCAS: The Maggie and Hopey Stories

LocasLocas by Jaime Hernández

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The first volume of a thorough retrospective collecting Jaime Hernández’s Maggie & Hopey stories. Starting as a series of sci-fi shaggy dog stories, Locas slowly develops into more realistic anecdotes about the relationship between the two punk Chicanas as well as stories about their friends, their neighborhood, & ultimately about what life they seek out as they each grow up.

Having read Amor y Cohetes previously was a definite boost and gave me something to refer back to when I struggled through some of the slower story moments. There was the added bonus of actually knowing some of the visual references beforehand as well–when Jaime draws a scene with a crowd or a party, many of the fill-in characters are people from other comics by himself or his brothers. With that said, new readers do not need to worry that this first collection is too dense or self-referential. I quickly learned that if someone or something new appeared on the page, it would be explained sooner rather than later.

The driving force of the whole collection, of course, is the ever-changing relationship between the beguiling Hopey & the open-hearted Maggie. Their dynamic as they argue, support each other, cause trouble, separate & reunite was what kept me reading. And the people that surround them are equally compelling–it wasn’t long before I was just as wrapped up in Penny Century’s desperate attempts to find satisfaction or Izzy Ortiz’s vague, haunted perspective. I did a happy dance when Rocky from Amor y Cohetes showed up briefly & I fell in lust with Joey Glass despite my better judgement.

And the art! Did I mention the expressive way that Hernández draws faces or how everyday people with nearly every body type appear in each story. Or how I can’t stop taking pictures of certain panels? The cover of Locas itself is the best advertisement since it is made up of panels that work as mini-works of art.

Overall, I recommend Locas to readers who have lots of time to spare & are very curious about the Love & Rockets series. A book this size is a commitment & really won’t draw you in if it pick it up casually. This book especially works for completest readers who want to know everything from the very beginning, but be advised that there is another waiting for you when you finish.

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