blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Love and Rockets (1982) #13

Lr 13

There’s no resolution to the Rocky and Fumble this issue, but Locas is back. Right away, with Roy Cowboy (a comic strip character who’s had a couple appearances in non-Locas stuff from Jaime) introducing the full names of all the girls. Except Penny. For some reason no Penny.

It’s cute since Daphne, Terry, and Beatríz have been making appearances (or been being discussed) in the book since early on.

And it’s a smiling Izzy.

The story itself is about Hopey and Maggie trying to figure out where to move. Maggie’s just back from her resurrection, which no one has really talked to her about, certainly not Hopey, and things are tense. She’s got a crap new job and never wants to mechanic again.

The strip is Hopey and Maggie going from place to place, talking to people about the living situation, bickering, getting into arguments. Izzy comes in as the voice of reason at the end.

It’s a really nice postscript to Maggie’s extraordinary adventures in the previous storyline, because life just kept going for Hopey and everyone else. And although the world stopped when everyone thought Maggie was dead, Maggie wasn’t thinking about everyone thinking she was dead. She was trying to live.

It’s funny, with some great–bright–composition from Jaime. And a great comic strip finish.

Then Beto’s got Heraclio and Pepo taking a friend from out of town–but not far out of town, just not a Palomar resident–around looking at girls. It calls out most of the female characters before the visitor settles on Tonantzin. And there’s a nice bit for Heraclio and Carmen, though–again–not much for Carmen to do.

Beto’s art is so smooth. The strip just zips along.

The first two stories have a lot of walking in them. For the movement, Beto wins. Palomar is smaller scale and almost every single panel is full of its personality. And there’s a good punch line from Luba, showing off how well Beto’s constructed the plotting.

Then a sadly one page Rena story from Jaime, another epilogue to the previous Mechanics arc. It reintroduces Tse Tse, who was in the first big Mechanics story, and has some lovely art. It’s just too short. Especially since Jaime’s got these “widescreen” establishing panels cropped to fit.

Then another Jaime. A “Young Locas” three-page strip about thirteen-year-old Maggie deciding to be a mechanic even if it wasn’t girly enough.

It’s a good strip, with some great character moments for Maggie, and some nice foreshadowing. It’s also really, really dark for a second, completely against the existing mood of the piece.

Finally, another Palomar, the first part of “An American in Palomar.” Some pretentious fake hippie photojournalist wants to document poor Indian people being poor and miserable and decides on Palomar. Diana and Theo get the most to do of the existing characters, while Luba allows herself a daydream, and then there’s the giant mother goddess temple outside town, which is making its first appearance.

It’s the only two-parter (even if it’s just the first part) in the whole issue and Beto’s plotting is excellent. He’s deft in his changing perspectives (from the photographer to the townspeople) and follows a fairly strict three act structure. It’s deliberate and rather successful thanks to that effort.

So next issue is “American, Part Two” and, maybe–hopefully–the next Rocky and Fumble story. Everyone’s okay in Locas right now. Rocky and Fumble aren’t okay.

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