By Geoff Hoppe
March 24, 2007 - 21:27
Love and Rockets #18
Madonna is slightly depressed by business-casual Fred Flintstone.
The Obligatory Warning: this is an NC-17 comic. In fact, it lives beyond NC-17, in that hazy neighborhood where women with names like Selene Dawn live next door to scratchy video copies of “Mega Cannibal Slasher part 4.” Not that L&R is exploitative; it appears to take its seedy subject matter quite seriously. That’s part of my problem.
The Hernandez brothers approach sexuality with an affected nonchalance that fails to impress. I’m sure they intend for their comic to make the taboo acceptable, and help create a culture where people can discuss the dirty over dinner. Ironic, given that they probably get a good deal of business from the plastic bags that cover every new issue of L&R sold (forbidden fruit’s always the juiciest). The problem with L&R is that it expects the reader to approach subject matter that is, by nature, controversial, with the same disinterest one has in mowing the lawn, or reading the morning paper. Anyone who’s read Brave New World knows this is horrifying, rather than hopeful (by the by, if you haven’t read Brave New World, THERE’S a grade-A mindblower). On top of all this, the stories aren’t tremendously interesting.
I’d have an easier time ripping L&R to shreds, if not for Jaime Hernandez’s impressive visuals. I’ll let you in on a dirty secret, dear reader: sometimes, we critics use the world “minimalist” as a nice substitute for “can’t draw his own hand.” In Hernandez’s case, however, the term “minimalist” is well deserved. With a minimum of markings, he does more to establish tone and capture facial expressions than most pencilers do. His style marries classic cartooning techniques with the polish modern readers expect. Too bad he’s busy illustrating boring subject matter.
Worth the money? Heck no. There’s $4.50 I’ll never see again…