The decades-spanning, on-again-off-again relationship between Maggie Chascarillo and Ray Dominguez reaches its emotional apotheosis in The Love Bunglers. After receiving rapturous, near-universal acclaim during their serialized run 2010-2011, Jaime Hernandez's stories from Love and Rockets: New Stories #3-4 are collected in this single hardcover volume, bigger and better than ever.
In our downloadable excerpt, Maggie is the subject of scrutiny from three men across the street, one of whom has a special interest in her. Later, the hint of a triangle forms as Maggie misses and makes connections with Reno and Ray as she describes her dreams and takes in an art show. How are they all going to mess it up? Get the whole story in April when the book hits shelves; get it first by pre-ordering now.
2013 was declared by many (especially us) as the Year of Gilbert Hernandez, and this spring the spotlight swings back onto his brother Jaime as we present The Love Bunglers, the collected edition of Jaime's universally-hosanna'd work from issues 3 and 4 of Love and Rockets: New Stories. Maggie's past, present, and future collide in devastating fashion and the emotional arc of 3 decades of storytelling comes to a climax and denouement that will leave you stunned and blubbering. (There's also apparently a lot of plaid.) And jeez, check out that striking cover design by Jacob Covey. Stay tuned for more about this absolute can't-miss book.
Now that our Kickstarter campaign has wrapped up, we're starting to offer our Spring-Summer 2014 books as plain old regular pre-orders. Our first batch is listed below, and more will become available as they're built into our bookkeeping system (which can be an irregular process). We've also set up a few discounted gift sets to help you save some bucks while building your collection. Be among the first to reserve your copies — hit those links to learn more about each title and start building your shopping cart!
312-page black & white 7.5" x 9.25" softcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-753-6
Gilbert Hernandez's characters bid "Farewell, My Palomar" as they exit the Eden of the Central American town in Volume 10 of the Love and Rockets Library. Locals have begun to drift up to the United States to seek their fortunes, but when an earthquake levels Palomar, ever-resourceful Luba and her clan are on the move once again. In the U.S. the lives of Maria's daughters — mayor and matriarch Luba, body-builder Petra, and therapist/film star Fritz — and their families become more and more intertwined. Mischievous children's show hostess Doralís MCs many (but not all) of the sisters' romances, and exploits are detailed in missives from comics-loving Venus to her fierce, one-armed cousin Casimira.
176-page black & white 7.5" x 10.25" • $22.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-755-0
Helen is an amateur bird watcher and naturalist who lives in a rural community in Wales. When local farmer Bill tells Helen that a "rare bird" named Emrys killed himself at Cuddig farm, she decides to investigate. One of the dogs at the farm tells her, by way of explanation, that Emrys "had no feathers and couldn’t fly." She plucks an old cosmetic kit from a dumpster and discovers it belonged to Emrys. Inventorying the kit's contents, she finds a spent .12 gauge shotgun shell. Her attempt to learn more about Emrys turns into a journey of self-discovery and ultimately a hard-fought reconciliation with the world — as it is. Carol Swain's Gast is the rare kind of contemporary graphic novel that critics are conjuring when they exult over the promise of the art form — a philosophically mature vision, uniquely executed by an artist wholly in control of her craft. In Gast, Helen's inner life is slowly revealed through a mixture of naturalistic detail and phantasmagoric occurrences.
220-page black & white 5.75" x 8.5" softcover • $24.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-751-2
This sci-fi epic takes place somewhere in the outer cosmos, beyond reckoning or observation. The mysterious Dr. Z has enlisted three space heroes to search the galaxy for the fabled Twelve Gems of Power: the hulking alien-brawn Furz; the beautiful and deadly sabre-wielding Venus; and the soft-spoken canine technician, Dogstar. They meet many strange and storied characters on their journey, but none so strange or sinister as their dear benefactor himself. With a heavy dose of humor and wall-to-wall action, this is one of the most action-packed and funny books of the year.
144-page full-color 6" x 9" softcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-745-1
He’s back! Now in his 30s and married with child, onetime slacker hero Buddy Bradley gets a "real" job, shaves his head, dons an eyepatch, quits his "real" job and buys the local dump — because what better place to raise a toddler? Peter Bagge’s iconic character is to alternative comics what Homer Simpson has been to television animation over the past quarter-century: a generation-defining slacker and the greatest comedic character of its form and era. Featuring stories originally published in the comic book series Hate Annual from 2000–2011, as well as an all-new 20-page conclusion to the story arc, this book marks the first new book of Buddy stories since the now-perennial classics Buddy Does Seattle (2005) and Buddy Does Jersey (2007).
Kickstarter pre-order signed copies are gone for now, but we're working on talking Pete into agreeing to do more, so keep checking!
104-page black & white 8.5" x 11" hardcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-729-1
The suppression of family history is the initial thread that ties together The Love Bunglers, featuring Hernandez’s longtime Love and Rockets heroine Maggie. Because these secrets can’t be dealt with openly, their lingering effect is even more powerful. But Maggie’s ability to navigate and find meaning in her life — despite losing her culture, her brother, her profession, and her friends — is what’s made her a compelling character. After a lifetime of losses, Maggie finds, in the second half, her longtime off and on lover, Ray Dominguez. In taking us through lives, deaths, and near-fatalities, The Love Bunglers encapsulates Maggie’s emotional history as it moves from resignation to memories of loss, to sudden violence (a theme in this story), and eventually to love and contentment. Much like John Updike in his four Rabbit novels, Jaime Hernandez has been following his longtime character Maggie around for several decades, all of which has seemed to be building towards this book in particular.
• Tacoma, WA: Our Marketing, PR, and Outreach Maven Jen Vaughn will be part of the panel "Drawing for a Living: Making Money as an Artist" at Pacific Lutheran University from 2:00 to 4:00 PM! This event is totally free, with no reservations necessary. (more info)
Saturday, November 2nd
• Tacoma, WA: And Jen Vaughn returns to Tacoma for the Jet City Comic Show! Don't miss her on the panel "Digital Comics: Past, Present and Future," starting at 11:00 AM. (more info)
Monday, November 4th
• Pasadena, CA: The great Jaime Hernandez comes to The Crawford Family Forum for an evening of art, books, and conversation. KPCC FM "Off-Ramp" producer Kevin Ferguson talks with Hernandez about his latest work, how it relates to Love and Rockets, and where his future's taking him. (more info)
Gilbert Hernandez continues his metafictional realization of the film career of his troubled heroine Rosalba "Fritz" Martinez, who abandoned her psychotherapy practice to become queen of the Z-grade exploitation movies. Now she's starring in the role she was literally born to play, in a dramatization of her own mother's life! The "true" story of Maria M. was told in Hernandez's classic Poison River, collected from the pages of Love and Rockets; this original graphic novel embodies the first part of the film version. Maria's life consorting with the underworld makes for a sordid tale of sex, drugs, violence, and power that fits right in with Fritz's other film credits.
Praise for other books in the "Fritz B-Movie" series:
"I picture Gilbert Hernandez approaching his drawing board these days like Lawrence of Arabia approaching a Turkish convoy: 'NO PRISONERS! NO PRISONERS!'" – Sean T. Collins, Robot 6
"Gilbert Hernandez is one of the great craftsmen of modern comics... Hernandez’s new Fritz book, Love from the Shadows, is as bracing as a slug of bottom-shelf rotgut...." – Douglas Wolk, The New York Times Sunday Book Review
"If alternative comics can be equated to independent film, then Hernandez has become the medium's David Lynch or Guy Maddin, rolling his personal obsessions and freewheeling abstractions into stories that present as pulp, then take some very weird turns." – The A.V. Club
"The rich emotions and passionate characters of [Gilbert] Hernandez are translated to a welcome new graphic novel, which fills B-movie situations with real drama... Hernandez takes his readers on a harrowing journey.... It's heavy stuff, but highly recommended." – Publishers Weekly
A woman comes to the U.S. from Latin America to escape her shady past, only to fall into a new shady life. After a go at the adult entertainment business, Maria marries a drug lord and her dangerous past is nothing compared to her new life in America. The drug lord's son, Gorgo, secretly falls in love with her and he watches over her like a guardian angel. Danger and corruption (and of course sex) drive the first half of this love story.
Long-time Love and Rockets readers will find the storyline familiar... and that’s because, in an Adaptation-style meta twist, Maria M. is actually the B-movie film adaptation of the life story of Luba's mother Maria, as previously seen in its "real" version in the classic graphic novel Poison River (available in the Beyond Palomar collection) — starring Maria's own daughter playing her own mother.
Confused? Don't be! Maria M. works perfectly on its own terms as the kind of violent, sexy pulp tale that Gilbert Hernandez has proven so adept at these past several years, and the "source material" for the story just provides an extra layer of delight for the cognoscenti.
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