Gilbert Hernandez's first original graphic novel from Fantagraphics follows on the heels of his acclaimed graphic novel, Sloth, from DC's Vertigo Comics in 2006. Chance in Hell tells the story about a little orphan girl who lives in the slum of slums. Nobody knows who she is or where she's from, but her fellow shantytown inhabitants collectively look over her. The three-act story follows our heroine as she is adopted by a decent man who raises her well, and she eventually marries a kind, well-to-do man, only to discover that she can't relate to the good life and the comforts it provides. This is the first in a series of standalone stories depicting the fictional filmography of Gilbert's Love and Rockets character, the B-movie actress Fritz. Hernandez wowed critics in 2003 with his epic work, Palomar, collecting more than 20 years of groundbreaking comics called "the most substantive single work that the comics medium has yet produced," by Booklist. Chance in Hell further establishes Hernandez as one of the great cartoonists of our age.
Dig this scene! Low-life drug dealer Dewey Booth has $200,000 that even-lower-lifes want. BLING! Wes is a rock and roll loser that only wants to buy a club where nobody can tell him he can't sing or perform. WAILIN'! He's known Dewey for years, but that isn't enough to get his dough. Wes needs help. Nala is an über-stacked bombshell whose pleasure in life is to seduce and then humiliate men dumb enough to fall for her. HUSH HUSH! For half the dough, she agrees to help Wes get Dewey's ill-gotten goods. Things don't go so well when a wily grifter from Wes's past shows up to complicate things. GULP! Vincene is another troublemaker who enjoys wrecking people's plans and wants the Dewey dough, too. In the end, deadly fires ignite, heads literally roll, eyes are shot out — and all Wes wants to do is sing in a rock and roll club.
The Troublemakers is the second volume in a series of original graphic novels in which Gilbert Hernandez creates comics adaptations of movies starring or co-starring Luba's half-sister Rosalba "Fritz" Martinez from Love and Rockets. The first, the dystopian Chance in Hell (in which Fritz has only a bit part), was released in 2007. This hard boiled, pulp graphic novel will delight longtime Hernandez fans as well as provide a perfect introduction to newcomers to Hernandez's work.
The third in Gilbert Hernandez’s line of original hardcovers featuring Love and Rockets’ “Fritz” in her guise as a Z-movie actress (the first two were Chance in Hell and The Troublemakers) is a trippy thriller that stars Fritz in no fewer than three roles.
A beautiful waitress (Fritz, of course) and her hospital nurse brother (also Fritz) visit their estranged father, a once successful but now retired writer (amazingly enough, also Fritz), in order to find out the true reason why their mother committed suicide. When dad’s health fails, the siblings are then more concerned with the money he might leave them.
The story weaves in and out of reality and hallucination and possibly back in forth in time, and to complicate things further, the sister is sexually obsessed with a mysterious man throughout the tale — or is it her brother (at one point posing as his sister so that he might gain his and her inheritance) that is so hot and bothered by this mystery stud? And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. There’s also a venture into ghost territory, with frauds bilking the gullible and Fritz’s character(s) right in the middle.
To complete the pulp gestalt, the book's cover illustration is a painting by Pulp Fiction artist Steven Martinez (he painted the portrait of Marsellus Wallace's wife Mia Wallace [Uma Thurman] that hangs in their house and which Vincent Vega [John Travolta] scrutinizes while he waits for Mia).