Fantagraphics; 1986; $2.25; 36 pgs; available collected.
Love and Rockets #17 starts off with a Locas but split between Hopey and her brother, Joey, who’s been in the comic before but I don’t know if it was established he was Hopey’s brother. This issue is where a bunch of supporting characters start shit-mouthing Maggie (behind her back) about gaining weight. I remember this era from when I read the Locas collection. It makes for a lot of unpleasant (and unsympathetic) characters.
I hope the Tony kid gets hit by a bus. Ditto Terry, to be honest.
The strip–running ten pages–is a masterpiece. Joey is questing for his record. He goes all around town, eventually getting to Hopey. She, Maggie, and Izzy all have to be out of Izzy’s house the next day. Not sure it was established to be a rental, but whatever. So Izzy and Hopey are packing while Maggie is tired. Maggie doesn’t have a single line the whole strip. She’s too tired. Jaime uses Hopey yelling at her for not helping as a jump cut system. It’s an awesome move.
The story takes place over an afternoon, introduces some possibly interesting new characters–and gives Daffy some page time–and ends with this lyrical mood. Jaime gets to use his silhouettes, he gets to do a lot of comic strip style–particularly for Joey–he gets to do like three or four layered plot lines. It’s a masterful ten pages of comics.
Then comes Beto’s Palomar side story. It’s set in the city about Vincente and his roommate. I don’t think the roommate has a name; the table of contents identify him as “Jesus” but it’s a typo. Four pages, lots and lots of first person narration, all great, about Vincente and the roommate trying to find work. There’s action, comedy, romance, joy. It’s a beautiful strip with a great tone. It doesn’t feel like Palomar because it’s not. It’s the city. But it’s also Beto combining styles; it’s like his non-fiction riff strips, just with the Palomar connection.
Next is what seems to be the last Rocky and Fumble. It’s a great strip, straight to the jugular from Jaime, who’s apparently done with the series. It’s particularly harsh because it begs a sequel.
Then comes another Palomar. It’s a two-parter this time, with Beto doing this awesome, flowing narrative about… well, let’s see. Chelo fatally apprehending a murderer. Luba being stuck in a hole and her kids trying to get her food but not help because Luba’s embarrassed. There’s a complication with everything, like a short scene with Gato and Pipo after the funeral (it was Gato’s brother). Ofelia is sick and sleeping, which fouls up Luba’s plans for food. Then there’s a hunt for food, with a Tontazin appearance. Then some kids playing when a bruja (witch) comes to town.
And Chelo’s banging one of her misdemeanor offenders while the deputies are away.
Then the whole bruja thing with Chelo. It’s a crazy lot of stuff. Kind of a comedy of errors but more situtions. Beto speeds it up, slows it down, it’s fantastic. Maybe better than the earlier story, but so entirely differently told it’s hard to say. It’s also a two-parter, ending on an incredibly unnerving cliffhanger.
So, great issue of Love and Rockets. Tony’s a dick. Rocky and Fumble shouldn’t have ended. It’s an exceptional comic book.