It's hard to believe, but with this volume, the seventh in the new format, the repackaging of the first volume of Love and Rockets is now complete! While the first six volumes gave us the massive mythologies of Hoppers and Palomar, this issue collects all the odds 'n' ends and bric á brac that the fertile imaginations of los Bros unleashed when they were kicking back; as well as the story that started it all back in Love and Rockets #1, Gilbert Hernandez's BEM. Let us rhapsodize for a moment: It was with BEM that Gilbert Hernandez -- comics' own St. George -- slew the dragon of derivative, formulaic heroic fantasy comics by ripping out its heart and laying it bare. BEM demonstrates once and for all that the success of the formula is based on keeping fear alive, that the hero and the villain are, unwittingly perhaps, complicit in an illicit pact to keep the reader enthralled with the eternal recurrence of evil. BEM pulls back the curtain and reveals formulaic heroic fantasy comics as Ouroboric circles devoid of any real hope, real progress or real growth; promising salvation but delivering the damnation of addiction with an empty formula expertly designed to keep readers coming back for more with the dangled promise of the imminent unveiling of a mystery that not only is there no intent to deliver on, but as BEM finally and brilliantly reveals, there is not even the capacity or ability on the part of the danglers to do so in the first place for the simple reason that the creators of this formula are themselves as equally trapped within it by their fealty to the profit motive -- unable to see outside the borders of their own fear and need and so drawing in the hordes to feed their own cravings (Love and Rockets: it's not just a comic book series, it's a hermeneutics.). We'll be the first to admit that anyone coming to this story now, over 25 years after the fact -- and especially those who were never themselves in the thrall of superhero comics in the first place -- will have a hard time fully appreciating the importance of this story, but that's no reason not to try. The revelation of BEM cleared the way for a whole new approach to comics: the way that Love and Rockets went on to pioneer. Comics have never been the same since.
BACK IN STOCK – FINALLY!