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 thats 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.
Part two of Maria M. will be released in 2014.
13-page excerpt (download 1.3 MB PDF):
Video & Photo Slideshow Preview (view in new window):
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... Hernandezs new Fritz book, Love from the Shadows, is as bracing as a slug of bottom-shelf rotgut.... Hernandez artfully approximates the broad, thrilling badness of late-night movies and their inept special effects, and uses it as an excuse to show off some of his gifts: spacious compositions built around texture as well as forms, pauses heavy with foreboding, a sense of body language and facial expressions so acute that we can recognize both the storys characters and the 'actors' playing those characters." Douglas Wolk, The New York Times Sunday Book Review
"[Gilbert] Hernandezs latest book Love from the Shadows is a confounding hybrid, inserting Love and Rockets watermelon-chested, lisping Fritz into a violent dream-novel that combines the fluid reality of Luis Buñuel with the two-fisted crime sagas of Jim Thompson. ...[T]he beauty of comics as a medium is that it invites re-reading; and Hernandezs mastery makes Love from the Shadows easy to pore back over, savoring how its meaning shifts from page to page." Noel Murray, The A.V. Club
"The outlandish plot piles double-crosses upon double-crosses, leading up to an over-the-top, apocalyptic denouement. Its pulpy fun that, appropriately, has the dashed-off, anything-goes spirit of a straight-to-video caper flick. The cinematic feel is accentuated by Hernandezs use of uniformly sized panels matching the proportions of a wide-screen film. While this self-imposed restriction limits the artists visual flourishes, it accentuates his other graphic strengthspowerfully bold compositions, vivid character designas well as serving to ground the often-hyperbolic goings-on." – Gordon Flagg, Booklist