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Love and Rockets is a long-running black-and-white comic book anthology series created by Gilbert, Jaime, and to a lesser extent Mario, Hernandez, often credited as "Los Bros Hernandez". The comic began when the brothers self-published their first issue and sent it to The Comics Journal for review. It impressed the people there so much that the magazine's publishers, Fantagraphics, decided to republish the comic and give the brothers an ongoing series.
The original Love And Rockets ran for fifty issues before a hiatus began in 1996, during which the brothers worked on other projects mainly spun-off from their ongoing plots. A "Volume 2" series began in 2001 and ran for twenty issues until 2007. In 2008, Los Bros bowed to the move from individual issues to larger bound volumes as the primary medium for art comics, and began an annual "Love and Rockets: New Stories" series in book format.
While the series contains a number of one-off short stories, the majority of the issues deal with one or both of two long-running serials. The first is Gilbert Hernandez's "Palomar" stories, a series on the borders of Slice of Life and Soap Opera, covering several decades in the history of the people of the small Mexican village of the title, in the village itself and elsewhere in Mexico and the USA. The second is Jaime Hernandez's "Locas" series, dealing with the lives of two Hispanic-American friends and occasional lesbian lovers, Maggie and Hopey, and the characters who circle around them. The "Locas" stories initially had prominent pulp-SF and superhero elements, but soon became more naturalistic stories set in the working-class punk and/or Latina subcultures in California.
Not to be confused with the Bauhaus spin-off band, although they did name themselves after this comic.
The "Palomar" stories contain examples of:
- Badass: Petra is a kick-boxing expert and severely beats several people she believes are hurting her sister Fritzi, including Fritzi's girlfriend Pipo.
- Badass Grandpa: Gorgo
- Big Breasts, Big Deal and Buxom Is Better: Luba's breasts are enormous. So are most of her female relatives, especially her mother Maria and half-sisters Fritzi and Petra. Their huge busts are constantly commented on by others and are a very integral part of the characters of Luba, Maria, and the rest of the girls in the family. The attention they receive runs the realistic gamut from fascinated and aroused men, disgusted men with a preference for thinner women, and jealous women who call them names like blimp-chest. Luba in particular has complained that her build makes people automatically assume that she is a slut. Petra actually had the largest breasts out of all the women in the family until she had a breast reduction, going down to simply "regular busty." Luba's daughter Doralis has a delightful combination of huge rack and voluptuous hips and ass. Her other daughter Guadalupe looked like she was going to escape the "family curse"...until she got pregnant.
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: Gato, who has been married to both Pipo and Guadalupe, has a huge one. Pipo has apparently become accustomed to it and doesn't think much of average-sized men. She dates Igor, of comparable size (Gato and Igor actually compare in a bathroom), and later has several sexual encounters with an unnamed, sleazy-looking character who dwarfs even Gato and Igor. She has no problem with his size in any opening. But then there's Fritzi, who has a fulfilling sex life with mostly average-sized men - ironically including Pipo's son Sergio - and is twice married to the "love of her life," Scott the Hog. He's described as having a barely functioning "choad."
- Brainless Beauty: Tonantzín, Khamo
- Brains and Bondage: Fritzi and Pipo frequent a BDSM sex club, and Fritzi in particular is obsessed with making her waist smaller with a corset. They are both intelligent and highly successful in show business.
- Butch Lesbian: Maricela, although not to an extreme degree.
- Driven To Heroic Sacrifice: Tonantzin
- Drop the Hammer: Luba's trade mark.
- Expy: Luba has the same name and appearance as a character in Gilbert's early Mind Screw SF story "BEM", and there have been a couple of dream and hallucination sequences in which Palomar characters have seen her as the "BEM" Luba. Gilbert's dark SF protagonist Errata Stigmata, with her distinctive part-white hair, has made a few cameos in "Palomar" stories, including as a visitor at a fiesta, as a child's doll, and as a receptionist at Pipo's boutique.
- Femme Fatale: Maria and her female descendants, to some extent.
- Gayngster: several characters in the "Poison River" story.
- Generational Saga: several family lines within the story, but especially Luba's family.
- Hollywood Pudgy: In-universe. The series points out how ludicrous this is with Doralis, one of Luba's daughter who stars in a hit TV variety show. She started out as a back-up to an anorexic blond who insults her for her incredibly voluptuous figure. The blond ends up getting edged out of the show and Doralis gains millions of male and female admirers.
- Hot Mom: There's Luba, skinny, raven-haired with G-cup breasts. She has seven kids, and one of her daughters has a child, making Luba a GILF. Then there's Petra, a Hispanic natural blond with soccer girl legs and hips, Baby Got Back, gargantuan breasts (later surgically reduced to just "big") and an insatiable sexual appetite. And Maria, their glamorous bombshell mother, and Luba's daughter Guadalupe. 'Lupe even gets hotter after giving birth, since it's only then that the "Maria curse" kicks in. Namely, huge tits — it's genetics. Finally, there's Pipo, not a descendant of Maria but still hot as hell all the same. She has a bodacious rear that earns her countless slavering fans and a full-grown son. She's also a LipstickBisexual.
- The Illegal: Much of Luba's family immigrates to the US illegally.
- It Works Better with Bullets
- Laser-Guided Karma
- Law of Inverse Fertility: Luba has an astonishing ability to get pregnant through casual liaisons that only happened once: some fans suggest that she actually prefers to be a single mother and does it deliberately.
- Left Hanging: the final Palomar story at the end of Volume 1 ends with a massive cliffhanger that also appears to be setting up a Crossover with Jaime's "Locas" stories. It has still never been resolved or even referred to.
- Lipstick Lesbian: Doralis, Luba's TV-star daughter, is one of these. Her older sister Maricela, not so much. See above. It's implied that Luba's other three daughters (besides clearly straight Guadalupe) are or will grow up to be lesbians as well. Considering how they look in a future dream sequence, it's safe to say they will also be the lipstick variety.
- Little Miss Snarker: Venus, Petra's daughter.
- Love Dodecahedron: This happens often.
- Loads and Loads of Characters
- Mad Artist - Humberto
- Magic Realism: This series features a lot of it, for example the nude painting of Luba that continues to reappear throughout the series despite several on-panel destructions.
- Manly Gay: Israel and some of the aforementioned Gayngsters.
- The Napoleon: Carmen - short and domineering.
- Really Gets Around - Tonantzin - she has many many lovers.
- Parent Service: In-canon - Doralis's role as kids' TV show presenter.
- The Pornomancer: Fortunato, a blond, light-eyed man who appears out of the blue at multiple points in the series, and has sex with almost every female character. He even scores Doralis, otherwise a stalwart Lipstick Lesbian. Fortunato's conquests are not limited to the beautiful women, either - he has sex with the dwarfish Boots in one scene.
- Recursive Canon
- Repeating So the Audience Can Hear: Because of his burn scars, Khamo can't speak intelligibly. Casimira interprets his mumblings for Luba, but it's not clear if she actually understands him or if she just says what she thinks her mother wants to hear.
- Retired Badass: Gorgo
- Scars Are Forever: Khamo, very much so.
- Serial Killer: The storyline of Duck Feet.
- South of the Border: Palomar is in an unnamed Central American country which is almost certainly Mexico.
- Take That: The "Love And Rockets" storyline set in LA contains several playful barbs aimed at the popular British post-punk band who had adopted the name "Love And Rockets" without the Hernandez brothers' permission.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Fritzi's two-time husband and "one true love" is Scott the Hog. He's fat, snaggle-toothed, and apparently has a short penis that barely works. She's beautiful, has huge breasts, a slim waist and curvy hips. Then there's Luba and her husband Khamo, who used to be beautiful himself until he was severely burned on 95% of his body.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Steve
The "Locas" stories contain examples of:
- The Artifact: the hangovers from the earlier SF tone, like HR's horns.
- Banana Republic: Zymbodia, and nearby Zhato which is ruled on and off by dictators from the San Jo family.
- Black Comedy Rape
- Butch Lesbian: Hopey at times, several more minor character
- Cerebus Syndrome
- Convenient Miscarriage
- Depraved Bisexual: Lois
- Expy: Jaime's SF heroine Rocky appears briefly as a friend of Danita's, with her robot Fumble apparently as a lifeless toy in her bedroom.
- Everyone Is Bi: well, the women at any rate. And a couple of the men have moments.
- Face on a Milk Carton: Hopey
- Fiction 500: HR Costigan
- Gold Digger: Penny
- Hollywood Pudgy
- If It's You It's Okay: Hopey is mostly lesbian, Maggie has claimed that Hopey is the only woman she has ever wanted to have sex with.
- Literary Agent Hypothesis: it's hinted in a couple of the later more naturalistic stories that the early "Maggie the Mechanic" stories were daydreams, or fantasies Maggie made up to entertain Hopey.
- Magic Realism
- Professional Wrestling
- Punk Rock
- Rich Boredom: Young Luba
- Sacrificial Lion: Speedy
- Sealed Evil in a Can
- Tattooed Crook: Hopey and Maggie's friend and sometimes landlady Izzie Ortiz has a frequently-visible tattoo on her arm of the emblem of the "Widows", the all-female street gang she used to be a member of.
- Uncle Pennybags: HR Costigan
- Wrench Wench
- Writer Revolt: Jaime can get pretty irate with fans who demand to know when Maggie will get slim again.
- ↑ Izzy Ortiz turns up claiming to know the fate of Israel's sister