Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Education of Hopey Glass by Jaime Hernandez

This is the twenty-fourth Love & Rockets collection; that series has been running longer, and has been more commercially successful, than most current superhero comics. (Just sayin'.)

And I'm covering it here, rather than on ComicMix, because my nemesis colleague Van Jensen got to it before me -- mostly because he's one of those people who makes it to the comics shop like clockwork every Wednesday. (Characterization of such persons suppressed.)

Hopey and her friends are around forty now; this book has stories centering on either Hopey (Jaime's usual main character Maggie's once-best friend and lover) or Ray (Maggie's ex-boyfriend). So even when the stories aren't about Maggie directly, they're about people connected to her -- she's still, and probably always will be, the center of this fictional universe.

The Education of Hopey Glass is a collection of stories rather than a graphic novel, so it doesn't quite have a single plot running through it. (In fact, it starts out with "Day by Day with Hopey," which is the closest thing to a title story, then mostly heads off to focus on Ray for the rest of the book, with side trips to "Angel of Tarzana," a blonde teenager several of the secondary characters lust after.) Were I more cynical, I'd suspect that Hopey's in the title and on the cover because Fantagraphics and Hernandez believe that she's more of an audience draw than Ray.

These are mostly small stories, about moments and characters rather than actions -- what action there is goes on in the background, or around the edges. At this point in Hernandez's "Hoppers" stories -- though I should say that I don't think any of these stories actually take place in Hoppers -- the main characters are well-defined, and much of the pleasure is in revisiting them, and returning to Hernandez's version of Southern California. (Though I certainly wouldn't want to live there, at least the way his characters do.)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

She should try working in the legal field.

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