Book review: Love and Rockets: New Stories #1

Posted in Blog by - October 25, 2015

Love and Rockets: New Stories #1Love and Rockets: New Stories #1 by Gilbert Hernández
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Love and Rockets, the black-and-white comic magazine written and drawn by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez (plus, occasionally, their brother Mario) was one of the best things about the 1980s for me. When it ended and the brothers went on to other worthy projects, I didn’t pay as much attention to what they were up to. So it’s delightful to rediscover them in collections from the Love and Rockets revival that began around 2008 and find their powers undiminished.

Highlights of Vol. 1 include a complex punk superheroine-team epic by Jaime and a bizarre space opera by Beto starring Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo, who in real life were bargain-basement knockoffs of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis and the co-stars of a low-budget science-fiction comedy called Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla. Everything in the collection is as soulful as it is surreal.

Graphic novels are all the rage now, but Los Bros were pushing the envelope of what comics could be when comics weren’t cool, and what they don’t know about the vocabulary and syntax of the medium isn’t worth knowing.

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Rick Schindler grew up in the idyllic northern suburbs of Buffalo, N.Y., a psychic stone’s throw from Archie Andrews’ hometown of Riverdale. His writing career began at age 15 when he won a New York Times award for a short story published in his high school literary magazine.

At 19 he interned on the copy desk of the Buffalo News, where he discovered a knack for headline writing that has served him in good stead until the present day. He went on to a checkered media career that has included stints at HBO, TV Guide and NBC News Digital, where today he is a writer and editor for the website of the venerable American TV show TODAY.

Schindler shared a 2012 Sigma Delta Chi award in online reporting with NBC News’ Bob Dotson for the “American Story with Bob Dotson” features on TODAY.com. He also won two 2012 awards in headline writing from the American Copy Editors Society, another in 2014 and two more in 2015.

Schindler lives in White Plains, New York.