Recently I was shopping in Minatour in the city for my younger brothers Birthday, when I spied a copy of ‘Maggie the Mechanic’ which is a collection of the first five years worth of “Locas” stories, more commonly known as ‘Love and Rockets’. These comics created by the Hernandez brothers, Gilbert and Jaime, came out in the early 80’s, perfectly timed with my puberty (blues) and were a definite influence on my drawing style, not only that, but the main protagonists ‘Maggie’ and ‘Hopey’ were people I wanted to know. Maggie, a Pro-solar mechanic, is seen zipping to work on a ‘Vespa-like’ scooter (which of course has no wheels but hovers) on the very first page, while Hopey is in a not so successful punk band and is a lesbian who sometimes sleeps with guys. The images in those pages were steampunk before I even knew what steampunk was.
My last three years in Japan, being surrounded by Manga, I think made me lose touch a little with my Western comic obsessions as a teen, it was good to be immersed amongst the super heroes again and once more stand amongst the long haired, long dark coated, Doc Martin crowd, if only for an hour. I have to thank Noodleboy for first introducing me to the ‘Love and Rockets’ series and the awesome work of ‘Mobieus’ but then what else are older siblings for if not to lead you on a path to dark, underground worlds and/or excessive drinking and smoking.
I had a crush on Rand Race along with Maggie and even took one of the comics in to my hairdresser where I patiently sat in my short tartan skirt, black t-shirt, leggings and Doc Martins while watching my long locks float to the floor with each snip… sayonara innocent childhood…konnichiwa angst teenager.
So, of course, I forked out the dough for the book and have been pouring over it and reminiscing ever since. I used to think how way it was, strange characters who seemed to be aliens in various scenes, dinosaurs, robots and wrestling chics and chics with antenna’s, all that stuff that comic geeks live for. I also realize now my love of dark lines, blocky colour and interesting perspective is not just from my years studying Ukiyo-e, I have to admit that in my formative years American pop culture was a formidable force in shaping my style.
So, I would like to dedicate this post to the Hernandez Bros. and to Maggie and Hopey for allowing me to pass from child to adult with more than Dolly to lead my way… bless their little sexually confused, Doc Martin wearing souls.