Maggie is a mechanic. In Hernandez’s omnibus of early material from the collaborative comic book series Love and Rockets, she lives in the Southern California community of Hoppers, a fictionalized version of Oxnard, the artist’s hometown. With her friend Hopey, a punk rock bassist, Maggie occupies the center of this eponymous work, which reminds us of the power of graphic literature. Hernandez created Love and Rockets with his brothers Gilbert and Mario; he portrays a world in which pop culture tropes (punk and comics, of course, but also science fiction) are more accurate to the characters’ experiences than naturalism. Why? Because here, Hernandez is after a deeper idea: that we create ourselves out of the detritus of what’s around us, which makes these slice-of-life stories true in the most essential ways.
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