Is This How You See Me?
Hernandez explores the tensions between idealized young love and comfy mature reality in this powerful follow-up to The Love Bunglers
. The saga of punk lesbian lovers Maggie and Hopey has been unfolding for more than 30 years in the Love and Rockets series, and this masterful episode gives new perspective on their relationship. In the present day, the now middle-aged Maggie and Hopey are in committed relationships to others, but a road trip to their hometown for a band reunion turns predictably dramatic. Old characters and feelings emerge, not always wanted nor appropriate. As the gang relives their youth for one night, flashbacks show that what they remember as a fun-filled hangout was a drug-fueled crash pad run by a slovenly pedophile, and the “good old days” were often confusing and lonely. What could be an ordinary tale is elevated by Hernandez’s incomparable art, which subtly reveals the progression of time on his characters, from Maggie’s evolving punk fashions to postmenopausal Hopey’s glasses, rendering them achingly real to readers who’ve grown up alongside them. While longtime fans will discover extra levels of joy and regret in this installment, even those who pick this up as their introduction to the series will be moved by its tale of growing older without necessarily growing up. (Apr.)