Tuesday, September 06, 2011

My favorite Love & Rockets panel

From issue 24, released sometime in late 1987. I had just fallen head over heels for the Replacements and their "Pleased to Meet Me" album, so imagine my surprise when Maggie and Daffy wound up at Ray's apartment and the radio was playing "Valentine"...

As it turns out, that was a landmark evening, kicking off the long and complicated relationship between Maggie and Ray. But all that mattered to me, back in 1987, back in college, back reading that original issue off the stand, was that two of my worlds -- comics and music -- were finally colliding. I'll never forget how surprised and happy that panel made me. Still does, in fact, even after all these years.

And it didn't hurt that the issue also happened to have my favorite Love & Rockets cover. No, strike that -- my favorite comic book cover...


In "The Art of Jaime Hernandez: The Secrets of Life and Death," Jaime says he started this image by drawing Terry's foot and working from there. Amazing. It's so perfectly structured, perfectly balanced between blacks and whites (or, in this case, reds) and just so damn perfectly drawn that you'd think it would take years of planning before you could even put pencil to board.

And yes, in case you were wondering, that's my original copy of the issue, big fold in the bottom corner and all. I've since acquired virtually all those Love & Rockets issues in various collections (in fact, my rereading of that story in "The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S" trade and seeing that panel above is what inspired this post), and I've gotten rid of many of the original issues. But I could never part with No. 24. Every time I saw that cover, I picked it up and paged through it, then I inevitably stumbled onto that panel, and back into the box it went.

The panel itself means a lot more surrounded by the others on the page, and the story means even more when it's read in the midst of all those other Maggie-and-Ray (and Maggie, and Ray) stories -- several years' worth of them, in fact. But for some reason, that single image, with those three characters, two word balloons and, most importantly, that curving stripe of lyrics extending across the panel, somehow that sums up everything I love about Love & Rockets ... and music, and comics, and pretty much everything. Thanks for drawing it, Jaime.

2 comments:

nessa said...

I dare to say I know how you feel 'cause that panel made me fall in love with Jaime's work and it still touches me deep. I'm pathetically ill for both his drawing and writing. =)

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed reading your blog about Love and Rockets. That issue means a lot to me too. Jaime not only draws magnificently, he writes great stories too. I was cheering as Maggie and Ray got together. I read the issue while I was teaching English in Poland. I reread it constantly. I now live in the UK and I still can't wait to buy the latest Love and Rockets comics.