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Book Review < Back

Love and Rockets: Chester Square (vol. 13)

Credits: Written and Illustrated by Jaime Hernandez
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books

Commentary

Oh, God. How the hell do you write a bullet-encapsulation of Jamie Hernandez's wrap-up to his half of LOVE AND ROCKETS? It feels like saying Ulysses is about a day, or Gravity's Rainbow is about World War 2. Forgive me.

Maggie, Hopey, Penny, Izzy, and the rest of the Hoppers 13 gang achieve as much of a resolution as anyone could hope for in this life. The book be-bops along with a screwball comedy spirit - misunderstandings, miscommunications, misdirections propel our love-weary and life-weary cast towards their narrative end. The relationships and characters that Jaime's spent fifteen years to bring together and break apart run desperately to get back together again in what is, honestly, one of the greatest examples of long story pacing you'll ever read. It's like Billy Wilder and Raymond Carver, written by a guy too old to wear a leather jacket anymore but too young to buy a minivan.

Sex and love, romance and heartache, confessions and humiliations wash over the cast; characters make mistakes and redeem themselves and fuck things up again or maybe don't and your heart rises and falls with them. What you're left with is something genuine and sincere, so unlike so many other comics in this world. It is not cynical, it is not clever, ironic, or cheap: It's love, baby. And it is dripping from every page of this book.

-- Matt Fraction

 
Matt Fraction splits his time between motion graphics and design house MK12, writing comics, and reading comics. He is the author of the graphic novels The Annotated Mantooth and Last of the Independents, both available from AiT/Planet Lar. He can be found on the web at mattfraction.com. His wife is hot.

 


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