When stuck for something to read before going to bed on Friday night, I picked up the House of Raging Women book, volume five of the complete Love and Rockets, because I hadn’t read it for a while. So that was my weekend fucked.
I’ve mentioned before that I get a bit obsessive on this comic. It shows no sign of easing and after finally, finally completing the L&R collection a couple of years ago, it’s just so much fun to dip in and out of its history, looking for new takes on a familiar story and usually finding them, non-linear reading of a complex work.
(This can be surprisingly rewarding sometimes and not just with Los Bros Hernandez. The second time I read Alan Moore’s Voice of the Fire, I read it by starting at the last chapter and moving backwards to the first. This produced some remarkable results in the reading experience.)
So it’s been a weekend of sitting in the sun and bombing around 1982 to 2008, stopping by for a swim in the Poison River before some BEM for breakfast. Follow it up with the painfully sad climax to Wigwam Bam before giving Mario another go.
It’s a weekend of going into the mountains after Jesus in the heat and cowering from Penny Century playing superheroes in one of the 100 Rooms. And wondering if the information Beto revealed in the sketchbooks about Maria being both Fritz’s daughter and mother was ever put down in comic form. And remembering what it felt like to walk all over town looking for a record somebody borrowed, because you had no money for petrol.
After more than quarter of a century’s worth of top-class stories, Love and Rockets is an astoundingly complex work that is nothing to be afraid of. It offers work that is constantly impressive and crushingly human.
Both Hernandez brothers are absolute legendary at characterization and have saddled these wonderful people they write about with so much love and history and tragedy and plain old strangeness. Rena in the ring, Maggie working on a spaceship, Heraclio getting drunk with Tipin Tipin and Martin after Carmen kicks him out. The ongoing crisis of Ray D an his easy friendship with Doyle Blackburn. Dead children and the people who still look after them. The ghosts under the tree and the people who see them. Histories hidden in a small smile, earth-shattering events hidden between the panels.
It’s also been a weekend of free food and reading a trashy Hellblazer novel and hearing Dylan Horrocks talk about digital distribution of his comics, which was easily the most fascinating thing I’ve heard all year. That’s a pretty fuckin’ good weekend in my book.