Sunday morning is my favourite comic reading time, a chance to sit in bed with a cup of tea and really lose myself in something. My favourite place to go is the universe of Love and Rockets by Los Bros Hernandez. Like returning to old friends, the wonder of Palomar and the neighbourhood of Maggie and Hopey welcome me back every time.
What began as a strange sci-fi affair soon morphed into a brilliantly accurate portrayal of relationships and family. As far removed from The Ultimates as it could be in style, yet remarkably similar in some of what it explores, Love and Rockets has grown its’ characters more than anything else I’ve read.
Why I love it:
I’ve talked about character development, but where Love and Rockets scores big is just how far the characters have come. I finished the most recent issue a month or so ago and sat there in floods of tears as a loop set up some fifteen years previously was finally closed.
That the characters have been through all kinds of hell and hardship, and look distinctly different from where they started only adds to the emotional weight of the book. I love that Maggie’s bigger than she used to be, and only puts on makeup for very special occasions. I love even more that her internal monologue, a wonderful mix of self-mockery and self-doubt is just as strong as ever. Some things never change, whilst everything else inevitably does.
Palomar is just as honest and raw with it’s cast, no one ever getting it quite right, but always driven by the things that make us human and interesting. I don’t go to Love and Rockets for excitement and adventure, I go to feel human and normal and part of something bigger than myself. That may seem odd for people searching for escapism, but in my eyes there can be no greater accolade for a serialized story to have.