All of the major players here have aged, most have mellowed, and it is interesting to see how their lives have shifted over time. Of course, this book focuses much of the time on Maggie and Hopey, the on-again, off-again friends and lovers who were the primary focus of the classic Locas tales. Their adventures have always featured lots of personal drama and upheaval, and it is fascinating to see how that still plays out 30 years later.
One of the strong points is just how iconic and potent the illustrations are. Hernandez has honed his craft over the decades to be able to capture an emotion or deliver a visual zinger in economical fashion. There were multiple times I found myself poring back over pages to admire his characters and how he brings them to life via his artwork.
I feel that I have a difficult time doing this book justice, because it does so much. It delivers quality slice-of-life type tales while also showing what happens across a lifespan. It is funny, sometimes sad, and very rewarding. There are lots of pay-offs for longtime Love & Rockets readers but also quite enough context to entertain and engage those new to this universe. I cannot recommend this book enough.
The reviews I have read of this book have been glowing. Edwin Turner wrote, "It's fascinating too to see how naturally Hernandez has realized the aging of his characters, as if they were not drawings on a page, but rather real people." In a starred review, Publishers Weekly concluded, "While longtime fans will discover extra levels of joy and regret in this installment, even those who pick this up as their introduction to the series will be moved by its tale of growing older without necessarily growing up." Hernandez speaks about his work on this book in this interview.
Is This How You See Me? was published by Fantagraphics, and they provide a preview and much more here. It features profanity, some violence, and sexual content, so it is recommended for readers mature enough to handle those things.