I'm so alive.

Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez started out making comics in the late 1970s/early 1980s. They developed traction in their cult status series' of comics starting with Heart Break Soup. Love and Rockets -oddly coincidentally the same name of the Goth band started by Bauhaus member Daniel Ash- is a compendium of characters -mainly female- who go about their lives living on a kind of punk fringe.

The Hernandez brothers managed to capture the heart and soul of punk in a graphic sense, along with perhaps Raymond Pettibon and Charles Burns. Their cast of characters, Hopey, Maggie and others portray a sub-culture (punk, gay/lesbian, latino) that was under-represented in the Reagan Era. Their comics contained stuff normally seen today as matter-of-fact but for back then was truly ground breaking.

Stylistically, their work is on another level entirely. In an article published just two days ago in Broken Frontier they talk about the pressure of following their own vision (along with a healthy dose of drawing beautiful women) instead of getting a straight job with Marvel/DC drawing superheroes all day. I'm glad they steered away from the Big Two.

The economy of line is quite phenomenal. There's a sense of spareness in putting in 'just right' amounts of detail. To this day I still marvel at their level of craft and control.

(a back-issue omnibus of their work can be purchased HERE.)

Tim Larsen

12 Woodwardia Ave

Felton CA 95018