Thursday 11 September 2008

New This Week.....Love & Rockets

Love & Rockets makes a welcome return this week in a new annual graphic novel format. Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez now have more pages to tell their stories which, in Gilbert's case brings more structure to his rather abstract ideas as apparently random characters and themes re-emerge in other stories. This was always a strength of Gilbert's work when he was writing about the random nature of life through the characters that came from his Palomar universe, but the oddness of his Girl Crazy and Fear of Comics work (his Marmite stuff) comes with the package now and both sides get an airing in this publication.

The re-launch also gives the Hernandez brothers an opportunity to clear the decks a little and for Jaime this has meant bringing superheroes into Maggie's world. Of course, being Jaime he makes it all seem so normal because that's what he's good at and the art is lovely, but superheroes!? I thought he'd got that out of his system way back at the beginning.

The good thing about the format is that you get a meatier slice of both creators. The weakness is that by getting more from both, their differing styles seem a little at odds with each other. It's a good book - engaging, amusing, baffling - and both creators are top in their field, but I do wonder if some people will end up favoring one over the other and prefer separate publications. SLS

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