GRAPHIC NOVELS

Is This How You See Me? A Locas Story

Fantagraphics. Mar. 2019. 96p. ISBN 9781683961826. $19.99. Rated: Mature. F
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Since 1982, the legendary Hernandez brothers—Gilbert, Mario, and Jaime—have been producing the groundbreaking alternative comic series “Love and Rockets.” This newest collection, continuing Jaime’s Locas” stories, originally serialized in 2015–16, features a large (and mostly Chicano) cast, and catches readers up with main characters Margarita “Maggie” Luisa Chascarrillo and best friend (and sometimes lover) Esperanza “Hopey” Leticia Glass, as they take a train trip to a punk rock reunion concert. Now middle-aged, Maggie and Hopey revisit their roots in the punk scene while coming to terms with their present lives and relationships, including Hopey’s marriage and parenthood with another woman, as well as their enduring (and complicated) feelings for each other. Longtime readers of the series will be rewarded with insights into the rich evolution of these complex characters, while the reunion plot device and flashbacks of Maggie and Hopey as teenagers in 1979–80, along with the snappy, reminiscence-laced dialog, make it a near ideal entry point for the uninitiated.
VERDICT Beautifully drawn, humorous, bittersweet, and poignant, this important chapter in the “Love and Rockets” universe, which stands as a self-contained graphic novel in its own right, is essential for most collections, especially those carrying the other books in the series.

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