I am reeling with jealousy at everyone who lives in Orange County right now, because this Thursday you have a chance to see Jaime Hernandez speak (for FREE!) at the Fullerton Public Library.
It's part of the "Gustavo's Awesome Lecture Series!" spearheaded by the awesome-indeed journalist Gustavo Arellano. Arellano is perhaps best known for his syndicated column "¡Ask a Mexican!" which appears in the OC Weekly. He's even the recipient of the "Colbert Bump." And he was nice enough to chat with Fantagraphics about Jaime's work!
How did you first discover "Love & Rockets" and Jaime Hernandez?
I discovered Love & Rockets and Jaime's work like all Mexican nerds—in high school. My best friend was into graphic novels and comics, and one day, I noticed a section of his bookcase that had the only Hispanic surname in the bunch—"Hernandez." It was a collection of Love & Rockets—can't remember which one, but I began reading and haven't stopped since.
Which character do you relate the most to and why?
Maggie, of course. She reminds me of many of the Chicanas I've known—someone who was cute-as-fuck in her youth, but turned beautiful as she aged and grew bigger. Maggie might not be living the life she envisioned as a young punker working the prosolar circuit—might even feel sad at her status in life—but she nevertheless remains optimistic, and feels life will become better.
Do you have a particular favorite book or storyline of Jaime's?
Death of Speedy, for sure. I didn't grow up in an environment like Hoppers, but I knew many who did. The whole story arc, between defending turf and love and mistaken identity and pride, could've easily been told in a stereotypical fashion, as it almost always does. But Jaime's take is beyond humanistic—it's Joyceian in its dexterity of emotions and conflict.
Seriously, can you imagine how engaging this event is going to be? Well, if you live in the area, you don't have to imagine! The Fullerton Public Library is located at 353 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, CA (714) 738-6333. Jaime and Gustavo will begin their discussion at 6:30 p.m., so don't be late!
This series is sponsored by the Cal State Fullerton Department of Chicano and Chicana Studies, the Fullerton Public Library, and the Hibbleton Gallery.