Sunday, April 5, 2015


Loverboys is a return to a certain sort of story for Gilbert Hernandez. The story here takes place in the small town of Lágrimas, which feels a lot like Palomar but seems to me to be in the US. There are also many interesting characters there, with strong, distinct personalities. Rocky is one of the main players, and he is having affairs with both his boss and a former teacher.
That teacher, Mrs. Paz, is the object of many men's affections as well, though she does not give many the time of day. Then there is the trio of teenage girls who want to poison the whole town so they won't have to go to school anymore. Rocky's little sister, Daniela, is in this group but then she creates a separate plot to just blow the town up. Eventually, Rocky has to leave town for a while and Mrs. Paz decides to watch Daniela in the meantime, and this set-up is the catalyst for a bunch of revelations.
There is lots of drama in this book, between strained family relations, a few complicated love triangles, lots of gossip, two terrorist plots, and a knothole where some magical folk may live (this is a Gilbert Hernandez book after all, which means there has to be some magical realism somewhere). So, to sum up, a lot happens in a short amount of space. I am not sure all the plots resolve in a satisfying way, but I feel that this is still an interesting read. And for people who are loath to tackle the entirety of Love and Rockets, Loverboys would work as a good enough introduction to Gilbert's work.

Most of the reviews I have read praise this book, even if they acknowledge it is not a substantial work. Tom Murphy called it "accessible, inventive and entertaining, while also having the slightly rambling, off-balance quality that Beto’s readers know and love." Publishers Weekly summed up, "Some abrupt transitions make this a minor work from Hernandez, but the compact story is a pleasing diversion." Matt Little wrote that "a middling Gilbert Hernandez book is still better than many creators' best work." John Yohe had many issues with the book, and he summed up that "a little magic isn’t an excuse to have unbelievable characters. Or ginormous boobs and booty shorts."

Loverboys was published by Dark Horse, and they have a preview and more here. If it is not clear by now, this book is really for mature readers, so I do not recommend it for younger folk at all.

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