blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Luba’s Comics and Stories (2000) #2

Lcs2Another issue in and I’m fine not having read Luba’s Comics and Stories in line with the Luba series. I was worried about it before, but this issue features a direct continuation of Fritz’s flashback reveals from last issue and has a character who dies in the Luba run appearing. So it’s like old home week a bit.

The issue opens with Luba quickly introducing the tale—it’s a story of Pipo and Fritz, and it’s so over-the-top, it’d make Luba blush. Creator Beto Hernandez stakes out quite a feat with that promise, and he delivers. See, Pipo and Fritz are on a sex vacation. They’re in a foreign land—presumably somewhere in Latin America—and they’re trying out as much local pecker as they can. Pipo’s not not throwing men at Fritz in hopes Fritz gets hot and bothered enough to accept her advances too, which causes a lot of argument on the trip.

Of course, they’re also in this country during its celebration of freedom from Catholic colonizers however many hundreds of years before. Things get unsafe for tourists, especially Catholic ones. So there’s built-in action, drama, and danger. But it’s mainly about the sex (and Fritz’s gun kink).

The gun kink has been around since at least Luba, if not Love and Rockets prime, but this issue reveals where it all came from. It figures into Fritz’s flashbacks from last issue, which raises the question of focus—sure, Pipo gets the cover and is the ostensible protagonist, but most of the issue’s either about her mooning over Fritz, trying to get into Fritz’s pants, or trying to keep her and Fritz safe. The protagonist is Pipo, but the subject is Fritz.

Beto touches on some of the weirdness—Pipo admits to Fritz the only reason she’s okay with Fritz dating her son, Sergio, is in hopes Fritz will see Pipo’s benevolent gifting of her son as a stud as a reason to get try ladies—specifically Pipo. But Pipo’s fully aware of her intrusive courting; straight seduction’s not working, orgies aren’t working, let’s try old-fashioned bribery.

It’s a wild time. And not just because they’re playing sex tourists. Actually, even though there are some extremes, Beto’s relatively restrained with all the sex. There’s a lot of emotionality to them—the only time Pipo ever gives voice to her feelings, they’re about loving Fritz—so most of the sex scenes themselves are dialogue-free, but Pipo’s context for them is always apparent.

The issue’s outstanding work from Beto, who usually will go either too far one way or another with the sex, but he evens it out perfectly for this issue. I sort of figured Comics and Stories, at worst, would be a solid anthology series, but Beto’s doing a lot of work in them. Of course, he might be done with the continuing story threads now. But I’ve learned never to bet against Los Bros. Especially not when Beto’s trying to show off how good he can be when showing off.

The one-panel call back to Tonantzín is a gut punch. Beto does such damn fine work.

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