cover image The Troublemakers

The Troublemakers

Gilbert Hernandez, . . Fantagraphics, $19.99 (120pp) ISBN 978-1-56097-922-7

Hernandez combines magical realism with the glories of a pulp movie in this comic adaptation of an imaginary movie starring Rosabella “Fritz” Martinez from Love and Rockets . In this tale, four characters living on the fringes of society cross and double-cross each other in the quest for money and erotic pleasure. Wes, an aspiring rocker, plots to steal $200,000 from drug dealer Dewey, with the help of a bombshell magician’s assistant named Nala. The devious pixie Vincenze complicates matters, and soon no one knows whom to trust. Hernandez employs uniform panels in the proportions of a movie screen to emphasize the cinematic inspiration and tone of the story. Each one almost vibrates with the frenetic, desperate energy of the characters as they try to pull off their cons. That energy explodes in the final pages, as the story comes to a dramatic but ambiguous conclusion. In the end, the work offers an homage to B-movies while standing out as a graphic novel. The Troublemakers will please long-term Hernandez fans. It also should serve as a good introduction to newcomers looking to jump into the Love and Rockets universe. (Dec.)