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Marc Sobel

Reading Love and Rockets

On sale date: March 5, 2024

A deep dive into the first 50 issues of the Hernandez Brothers’ acclaimed comic series, this scholarly book seeks to answer the question: What makes Love and Rockets such an enduring classic of the medium?

Love and Rockets by Gilbert, Jaime, and Mario Hernandez is one of the greatest comic series ever created.

However, running consistently for 40 years and encompassing a diverse array of characters, settings, and cultural influences, this literary universe can be daunting to explore. With Reading Love and Rockets, writer Marc Sobel offers an accessible entry point into L&R, an invaluable resource to both new readers and fans who want to deepen their understanding of the series.

Reading Love and Rockets hones in on the first 50 issues of the series, tracking the evolution of the characters and storylines, as well as the Hernandez Brothers’ growth as artists and writers across this 15-year span of creation. Breaking down each issue in sequence, Sobel blends together his own sharp-eyed observations with analysis from a variety of scholars, critics, and fans to provide a well-rounded perspective on the series. Plus, explorations into topics as wide-ranging as magical realism, women’s wrestling, and the Southern California punk scene reveal the fascinating influences at the heart of these stories. Readers daring enough to embark on this illuminating journey through Palomar and Hoppers 13 will return with a richer appreciation for this masterpiece of graphic literature. Luxuriously illustrated throughout with scenes from the comic.

Reading Love and Rockets is part of the Love and Rockets series.


"Reading Love and Rockets offers a roadmap to the Hernandez brothers' glorious achievement, the influences that shaped it, and the conversations that swirl around it. This book is an indispensable critical companion to the series that defined alternative comics." — Charles Hatfield, Comics Studies: A Guidebook

"A lavishly illustrated resource on the art and culture of one of the most important series of all time, Reading Love and Rockets is hard to put down. Sobel's guide offers impressive range and detail, and the result is a compellingly full picture of the world of the Hernandez brothers and their comics masterpiece." — Hillary Chute, Why Comics? From Underground to Everywhere

"Sobel leaves no doubt that Love and Rockets is the masterpiece of our time! This tour de force synthesis of decades of sedulous sleuthing and deft archival digging into all corners of cultural influence and ephemera allows Sobel to peel back those resplendent palimpsestic layers that suffuse Love and Rockets Volume 1." — Frederick Luis Aldama, Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics

"Reading Love and Rockets will instantly become the go-to book for fans of the Hernandez brothers... and all-around fans of graphic narrative, semiotics, sequential art, and American literature. With word, image, and the researching zest of Umberto Eco, Sobel tracks down the minutia and the maxima of the Love and Rockets universe." — William A. Nericcio, Cultural Studies in the Digital Age

"The new book is welcoming enough that newbies won't be lost, but also provides plenty of fascinating details for long-time fans." — Cinema Sentries


Paperback / Softback
Black and white.
8.6" × 10.8"