Love and Rockets #42 (August 1993)

Love and Rockets #42

I’m wondering if Love and Rockets #42 reads different knowing there are only eight more issues. Though Beto’s Farewell, My Palomar certainly hints at something coming to a close. And maybe so does Jaime’s opener, which is a Maggie and Penny story only it’s all about how Maggie’s real nick name is Perla and it was the Hoppers punks who called her Maggie. It’s a weird story, mostly because it’s like Jaime’s… regretting the early stories? He’s definitely changing the narrative distance to Maggie, but with a sense of finality.

Or I’m reading the foreshadowing into everything because I know it’s ending soon.

The Maggie and Penny story is quite good. Jaime’s doing his good girl art so much on Penny it carries over to one of his other stories where Hopey’s brother Joey, with his long flowing locks, is quite lovely. So much so it plays against that story’s script, which resolves who put Hopey on the milk cartons a dozen issues ago. Jaime got a lot of pages out of that subplot.

But back to Maggie and Penny. It’s a kind of grown-up Locas story, including the now muted fantastical Penny lifestyle. It’s nice. And so much more successful than the Joey Glass story.

Let’s just get Jaime done before Beto and Palomar.

Jaime illustrates a script Beto wrote when he was ten. It’s absurdist, involving easter eggs and flying saucers. Jaime draws it with Hopey and Maggie, punk days, in the leads. So it plays off the thread Jaime started in the Maggie and Penny story–we need to start understanding how Maggie remembers her early stories and not how the early stories actually read–it’s really weird and sort of disquieting juxtaposition, which also makes the disposable Joey Glass story even more annoying.

Two out of three great, with extra points for Jaime doing Beto’s old script but making it relevant to the ongoing Locas plots.

Now. Farewell, My Palomar. Jesus gets out of prison and returns to Palomar. Stopping by for a quick orgy with Israel, and to watch Satch abuse his grown children, and to meet up with prison lover Marcos. In a few panels each, Beto does postscripts on all his open Palomar plot threads. He’s putting each character to bed. Everyone’s last panel is iconic.

It’s a Palomar party story once Jesus gets to town. It’s set parallel to some of the action in the previous Love and Rockets story. Steve the Surfer is still in Palomar as background. Beto briefly explored developments in Palomar in that story–what everyone is doing a few years after the previous long Palomar arc. Farewell, My Palomar could be an epilogue on the Rockets postscript, but it’s instead this thoughtful rumination on the town and its residents through Jesus’s perspective.

Mixed into the present action are occasional flashbacks to old Palomar, one set just after the first Palomar two-parter, thirty-eight issues ago. It’s an all-encompassing conclusion. Focusing mostly on Pipo and Guadalupe–Jesus has crashed their going away party–and their immediate relations. With a bunch of cameos. And a glorious conclusion.

It’s wondrous, particularly since some of the best material are followups to stuff he just introduced in that Love and Rockets Palomar postscript. He’s doing character development through the party, bouncing all around. It’s awesome work. And his visual pacing is similarly fantastic.

Farewell, My Palomar has four parts, read two and two, with Jaime’s stuff before, then after the first parts, then the second parts closing the issue. So the issue has all this weight as it goes out with Farewell. Beto hurried this Palomar conclusion and it’s still phenomenal. And it also means, with eight issues to go, Beto’s going to be doing something new, different, or both. Again, the knowledge of the series’s impending conclusion might play a factor in the read.

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