cover image Locas II: Maggie, Hopey& Ray

Locas II: Maggie, Hopey& Ray

Jaime Hernandez, . . Fantagraphics, $39.99 (418pp) ISBN 978-1-60699-156-5

This omnibus edition starring Hernandez's cast of young L.A. denizens from the pages of Love & Rockets and spinoffs was previously collected in the volumes Dicks and Deedees , Locas in Love , Ghost of Hoppers and The Education of Hopey Glass , but collectors and new readers will like the deluxe hardcover treatment. These stories show the cast past their punk years, away from their youthful dreams but toward what may or may not be maturity. It's hard to be sure whether Hopey will settle into her teacher's assistant job, whether Maggie can be content managing a fleabag motel or whether insecure, obsessive Ray will reconnect with Maggie. The “Locas” stories jump back and forth in time and place, and inside and outside the characters' minds. Avoiding a tight plot, events become known and felt through characters' responses, glimpses, suggestions, fragments of revelations, adding up to an astonishingly rich and convincing picture of uncertain, developing human relationships. Besides the masterful storytelling, the book is notable for superb black and white artwork. Panel by panel and page by page, it's a delight to watch darkness crowding into open space, while supple linework dances freely in its allotted territory. This is a landmark in comics literature. (Sept.)