|Love and Holograms|
|Written by Kristy Valenti | Filed under Love and Rockets, Jaime Hernandez, Gilbert Hernandez||6 Aug 2013 3:57 PM|
While I was working on The Love and Rockets Companion: 30 Years (and Counting) I noticed this contribution to the Love and Rockets #11 (April 1985) letters page signed “Christy Marx.”
Dear Bros. Hernandez,
Hmmm . . . how to tell you how great this comic is without sounding like a raving fan. Fuck it! You guys deserve raves.
“Mechanics” is the best, closely followed by “Heartbreak Soup” in all its incarnations. “Errata Stigmata” I can do without, frankly.
I read the first seven issues all at once, having come in late, drawn by growing word-of-mouth, plus the look of them began to fascinate me more and more. My regular dealer doesn’t carry them, unfortunately, because he’s limited in the amount of product he can purchase and he has drawn the line for some reason. I imagine you’ve encountered this barrier before and it must be a frustrating problem for you. It’s easy enough for me to subscribe, but beyond word-of-mouth, there should be a way for your books to get more attention.
Time and again, I’ve suggested to people in the business that we need to reach out for newer audiences. I get blank looks or disagreement, but I’m convinced that you could attract a much wider and less comic-book-oriented audience.
I believe this not because it appeals so much to me (I read virtually everything published), but because I’ve watched a 20-year-old woman from Australia (who does not normally read comics) get hooked on these books, and if you can reach across that kind of a personal and cultural gap, then you’re obviously succeeding in a big way.
She and I love the art in “Mechanics,” especially because of your amazingly keen awareness of what’s contemporary. I can honestly say you’re about the only people doing comics today that have this awareness, and God! Is it refreshing to see! All of the art works in its own way. It grows on one.
Then there’s the writing. Excellent! You all have the most wonderful gift for creating living, breathing characters! Better than anything happening elsewhere in comics today. I’m astounded at your ability to portray such vivid female characters with such understanding. Maggie and Hopey are delightful, Penny is great fun, Izzy is weird. Luba and Archie and all the rest come across beautifully real.
I love your touches of humor and am intrigued by the religious motifs that run throughout. I’ve learned a lot about Hispanic thought, life, and feeling from these books. At the same time, you’ve created characters and situations that are universal. And there you have the reasons it works so well.
Not to mention all the fun you have using an alternate reality. That threw me for the first few issues until it suddenly clicked what you were on about. And please continue to add the translations for us poor gringos and gringas out here. We need the education.
Well, I guess I’ve raved on enough. Love your books and hope they rocket you to fame and fortune.
All the best,
Christy Marx (address withheld)
I was a huge fan of Jem and the Holograms growing up, so I decided to e-mail her to see if one of the creative forces behind the cartoon (and writer of the recent Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld miniseries) and the letter writer were one and the same.
Hello, fellow Kristy,
Now this is an interesting piece of e-mail. I was forced to dig through my box of L&R and find the issue you’re talking about.
Even after reading the letter, I confess I have no recollection of writing it, though I did commonly write letters to comics in the ’70s, tapering off in the '80s. But I can say it was me for a couple of reasons: a) it sounds exactly like what I would have written (including the F-word); and b) I referenced my Australian stepdaughter. The issue was printed in 1985 when she would have been the age mentioned in the letter.
That was fun, thanks!