Maggie the Mechanic & Heartbreak Soup (4 stars)

Jaime Hernandez

Maggie the Mechanic (Titan/Fantagraphics)


Gilbert Hernandez

Heartbreak Soup (Titan/Fantagraphics)

The Hernandez Brothers invented Love & Rockets at a time when comics meant tired, clich├ęd superheroes in a fruitless search of a storyline. Maggie the Mechanic is a collection from these books that launched these locas Maggie, Hopey, Izzy, Penny Century and their cohorts on the world. Their adventures kick off in the midst of the early 80s California punk scene and wind through decades of twisting, twisted scattergun narratives. Heartbreak Soup has a different style and atmosphere altogether, with the stories centring around Luba and the residents of small Mexican town, Palomar. Both books share a sense of humour, a brutal portrayal of life on the edge and some expressive monochrome inking that looks as fresh as it did a quarter of a century ago.

These books stand both as underground comic landmarks, but more importantly, as eminently readable stories that have stood the test of time.

(Mark Robertson)

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