Saturday, 14 February 2015

Love and Rockets: New Stories #1 Review (Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez)


I realised a couple things after reading just a few pages of this book: 1) I’d read the first story before in Jaime Hernandez’s God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls book, and 2) of all the Hernandez brothers, Gilbert is the only one whose stories I really enjoy. Jaime’s art is fine but his writing and Mario’s are beyond boring. God and Science? I gave up on that one after just 6 pages! In fact, I don’t think I’ve finished a single Jaime book and only got through ones with his name on because of his Gilbert’s work tacked on. 

I powered through Love and Rockets: New Stories #1 as I paid for a copy (it was on sale for peanuts) and wanted to get my money’s worth. Jaime’s Ti-Girls story, that’s been chopped up and takes up about half the book, is a generic superhero story starring older, heavier women than the usual stock female superheroes. That’s about all I’ll say it does differently, otherwise it’s your average superhero story. Villain threatens Earth, heroes fight villain, world is saved. It’s honestly that rote, except Jaime writes it like an older-style superhero comic so there’s lots and lots of badly written caption boxes to torture the reader with. 

After 26 excruciatingly dull pages we get to the first of Gilbert’s comics and it’s a simple one-pager of Sunday paper funnies but it’s instantly more entertaining than the preceding chapter of crap. Then we’re onto a short story by Gilbert and immediately I recognised it as part of Julio’s Day, Gilbert’s wonderful book from a couple years ago. It’s a fine comic but I’ve already read it so it was disappointing to see it here instead of something different (later on another section from Julio’s Day crops up). 

To be totally fair to Jaime, Gilbert’s other offerings aren’t much better either. The space story of two crooners was stupid, and his kangaroo gambler/penis story was such a throwaway, I’m not sure why it was even printed except for filling up space. Mario Hernandez’s satirical story of native Americans was much too overwritten and uninteresting, while Gilbert’s final offering was simply nonsense. The book closes out with yet another part of the maddeningly tedious Ti-Girls story from Jaime. 

What a let-down! I usually turn to the Hernandez brothers - well, Gilbert at least - for some quality comics and Love and Rockets: New Stories #1 was unfortunately anything but! The Julio’s Day sections were good but I’d already read them. The rest? I wish I hadn’t bothered. 

Dammit, I bought three other L&R: New Stories books in the sale at the same time! Here’s hoping they’re better than this inauspicious first volume…

Love and Rockets: New Stories #1

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