Comics Christmas Shopping Suggestions: Day Three

Between now and Christmas, every day we’ll highlight a suggestion for gift giving. All of these suggestions will be comics-themed, and every day will see one featured.

For Day Three, what makes a better present that a good, hefty hardcover?

locasIILocas II: Maggie, Hopey, and Ray

Author: Jaime Hernandez
424 pg. Hardcover, Black & White, $39.99 US

SOLICITATION:

In this second big omnibus collection of his ongoing tales of the “Locas,” Jaime Hernandez continues telling stories featuring his main characters Maggie, Hopey and Ray. This volume picks up shortly after Maggie and Hopey’s long-awaited reunion at the end of the first Locas.

Even though her love life remains as chaotic as ever, Hopey takes her first few steps toward responsible adulthood with a real job (as a teacher), while a demoralized, divorced Maggie ends up as the manager of a fleabag apartment building where she continues to wrestle with the demons of her past — most prominently in the stunning centerpiece of the volume, the graphic-novel-length “Maggie” serial, with its stunning, hallucinatory dream finale.

Meanwhile, Ray still carries a major torch for Maggie, but falls in with the “Frogmouth,” the volatile bombshell whose ties to local thugs cause him no small amount of grief.

Of course, Maggie, Hopey, and Ray’s paths continue to intersect in Hernandez’s increasingly complex, intricate, and always vitally realized world. (Source: Fantagraphics)

RECOMMENDATION:

Jaime Hernandez is a master storyteller, almost exclusively working on his own work, and this collection is all of his work on the relaunched Love and Rockets series, including some great stories revisiting fan favorite characters Maggie and Hopey as the settle into adulthoo, as well as Ray, whose story is an often overlooked gem of the first Love and Rockets series. The cast of supporting characters also get to shine, with Frogmouth becoming a more rounded and sympathetic character. There’s even enough nods to the comic medium in here to keep fans of mainstream comics entertained.

Who’s it a perfect gift for? That fan of Love and Rockets that hasn’t managed to snag this hardcover collection yet would love to open up a package and find it. It’s also great for any fan of independent and alternative comics that might only have a cursory exposure to Love and Rockets. Finally, it’s good for any fan of the comics art form, because Jaime Hernandez is a master of clean rendering and storytelling.

While it’s available just about anywhere, I should note that the publisher is having a special where if you order any Love and Rockets book, you get a free mini-comic, Before Love & Rockets. It’s a great bonus, but move quick, because the offer is limited to as long as quantities last.

Image Source: Fantagraphics