Winter 2004

The end of a punk-rock dream [EXTRACT]

Locas

By Jaime Hernandez
Fantagraphics Books, USD49.95

This doorstop of a book is the tale of two Latina friends and lovers, Maggie and Hopey, in Hoppers, a fictional neighbourhood near Los Angeles. Artist Jaime Hernandez drew their stories from 1981 to 1996 (and, in a fractured manner, continues to in Love and Rockets volume two) in the comic book he shared with his two cartoonist brothers, Gilbert and Mario. Locas collects all of the short stories that made up the fifteen-year span.

These stories cover about ten or more years in the lives of the two companions as they grow from archetypal teenage punk rockers / hellions into women. Hopey Glass is an impulsive, bossy and tough woman, whose motivations remain slightly cloudy and whose existence seems to depend on day-to-day planning; Maggie Chascarillo is more dreamy – fraught, often indecisive, she wears Hopey’s bravado awkwardly. The complexities of their friendship and different lives are played out across Latino gang warfare, dive bars, Mexican wrestling matches, the LA punk scene and strip clubs, the art world, and other realms of America with aplomb and humour. Hernandez has startling and frank insights into friendship, sex, work, art and contemporary existence, but he makes them subtly, allowing his thoughts to emerge in the dialogue between the huge cast of characters in Locas. [...]

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