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Love & Rockets Vol. 12: Poison River Paperback – November 5, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books; First Edition edition (November 5, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560971517
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560971511
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,676,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Fifty issues--collected into 15 volumes that total 2,000 pages--the Hernandez brothers' Love and Rockets is an enormous achievement that helped to create a new audience for comics. Notable for their strong female characters and their focus on relationships, rather than on traditional comic-book 'action', the stories collected in this volume, and the rest of the series, show how the comic format can be used to create characters and situations as detailed and compelling as in any novel.

Reviewers have compared Gilbert Hernandez's work--set in the fictional Latin American town of Palomar--with that of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Robert Altman. Reading his brother Jaime's work--most of which focuses on a group of Southern California Mexican American women--is like reading Tolstoy, if only Tolstoy had written about twenty-something punk girls. Love and Rockets has certainly earned its legendary reputation among the comic-book cognoscenti, and deserves to be read by an even wider audience. Welcome to the world of Los Bros Hernandez.

From Publishers Weekly

Along with his brother Jaime, Gilbert Hernandez (Love and Rockets X) has produced some of the best comics work of the last 10 years. Poison River is the story of one his most engaging characters, Luba-self-possessed, intelligent and iconoclastically sexy-in the years before she arrived in Palomar, Hernandez's mythological Central American village. We meet Maria, Luba's mother, beautiful, pampered and recklessly promiscuous. Maria's husband discovers that Luba is the result of a tool-shed tryst with Eduardo, a poor Indian worker and kicks mother, child and lover out into poverty. Glamorous Maria abandons the other two in turn, and much later a teenage Luba meets her future husband Peter Rios, conga player and small-time (soon to be big-time) gangster who takes her away to a life of privilege. But their meeting is not by chance and Rios's peculiar sexual obsessions (women's navels and well-hung chorus "girls") are driven by carnal memories of the exquisite Maria. Indeed Luba's new life (and the men in it) is much like her mother's-lavishly sheltered by violent anticommunist gangsters, who murder and terrorize the local "leftists" in the name of "business" and right-wing patriotism. Hernandez has written an epic Latin American melodrama of lost identity, political violence and polymorphous sexuality. And while his complex plotting is occasionally confusing, his characterizations, dialogue and relationships are vividly, emotionally engaging. A brilliant draftsman, Hernandez presents a wide range of facial and physical types, all rendered with an expressive facility and a deft comic flourish.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Selzer on May 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
I am really tired of the Gilbert vs. Jaimie debate. When i was younger I prefereed Jaimie because I was a punk and his art looked cooler. But that was it. Jaimie is certainly one of the most incredible artists ever to work in comics, and his stories have been wonderful as well. However, I can't believe people would say Gilbert is a poor artist! He has a distinctly different style that is distinctly different. It is expressive and emotive and powerful and is used with great skill in Poison River. Drawing on folk art and underground artists from Robert Crumb to Jim Woodring, his work is fresh and exciting. Gilbert has spent way too much time in his brothers shadow, and deserves credit for the quality of his art. His skill at storytelling has been critically acclaimed enough that I needen't belabour the point, Poison River is an epic and fascinating tale of sex, politics, violence, family and love.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By adam angstead on October 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
I was recently lucky enough to hear both Hernandez brothers speak as guests at a comics symposium at the local university. One of the most surprising moments for me was when Gilbert, who has always been one of my biggest heroes as a cartoonist, called Poison River one of his least favorite of his own works. I have been in awe of Poison River for many years. I honestly believe that Gilbert's work is still getting better today, after 30 years, but if I had to name one section of his career that condensed and exemplified everything I love about what he does, it would be Poison River. It's like a prequel, telling the story of how Luba and her family ended up in Palomar in the early issues of Love and Rockets. The events of her life are so bizarre and complex that, despite all the Lynchian insanity, it feels somehow true to life. It is chock full of gangsters but never feels like the gangster genre. Many seem to complain that it becomes too confusing as various factions melt in and out of each other, and even Gilbert Hernandez himself cited this as a problem with the work during his lecture, stating that he got bogged down by the plot in the middle and rushed his way through too quickly to resolve it comfortably. This is a valid criticism but from my own point of view, the total chaos of the plot was always a strength of Poison River, not a weakness. When Hernandez gets to the point where the scene shifts and something important happens in EVERY SINGLE PANEL for dozens of pages, his mastery of comics technique starts to make me dizzy. His art and storytelling improve considerably over the course of the book. The fact that it's really confusing is important--Luba herself never really knows everything that happened, and it is her story.Read more ›
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2 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A. Hamilton on June 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
As a huge fan of Jaime Hernandez's work, I never really 'got' that of his brother Gilbert, and generally ignored his sections in the comics. The artwork seemed sloppy and unattractive, the stories seemed a touch sophomoric - relentlessly and earnestly beating us over the head with obvious truths in P.C.-themed narratives. Perhaps all that could be forgiven if there was some warmth or humor at the core of Gilbert's world, but there seems instead to be an atmosphere of nastiness. He loves to use (and show) brutality to make a point, and the characters don't have any empathy with each other. In summary, avoid and concentrate instead on the awesome stuff from Jaime.
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