New Digital Love and Rockets . . . and more!

Jaime and Gilbert are back with another brand-new issue of the pure excellence they can only bring to this fallen world. Also, some more backlist titles! The new issue of Love and Rockets picks up right where #1 left off. Over on Jaime’s side, it’s La Llorona’s turn to hit the stage at the punk…

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Re/Read: Love and Rockets: The Covers

   Re/Read is an occasional column by Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery curator Larry Reid looking back at books you may have missed or merit more attention. This time we’ll discuss the alluring imagery in Love and Rockets: The Covers by Los Bros Hernandez. The colorful covers of early Love and Rockets comic books by Gilbert,…

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Digital Releases: New Love and Rockets and more!

Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for Love and Rockets and heralds in a collection of one of punk rock’s best artists—all on your tablets and personal reading devices! Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez are back with brand-new stories in Love and Rockets Vol. IV #1! You get Maggie and Hopey! You get Princess…

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LOVE AND ROCKETS: THE MAGAZINE returns!Gilbert and Jaime…

LOVE AND ROCKETS: THE MAGAZINE returns!Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez to revive their beloved series.Get all the details on the Flog:http://fantagraphics.com/flog/love-rockets-magazine-returns/

LOVE AND ROCKETS: THE MAGAZINE returns!Gilbert and Jaime…

LOVE AND ROCKETS: THE MAGAZINE returns!Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez to revive their beloved series.Get all the details on the Flog:http://fantagraphics.com/flog/love-rockets-magazine-returns/

Panels from Love and Rockets. What are you lucky comics?

Panels from Love and Rockets. What are you lucky comics?

Multiversity Interview with Eric Reynolds on Palomar Challenge

palomar

The award-winning and timeless collection of Love and Rockets stories gathered into the gorgeous book, Palomar by Gilbert Hernandez, was published more than a decade ago. But controversy at a high school library in New Mexico has given new life into the continuing dicussion, and sometimes battle, that surrounds comics when they attempt to break new ground and tackle themes which require context and analysis. 

As Jen Vaughn pointed out in our original posting of the challenged book, one mother of a 14-year-old who had checked out the offending text from Rio Rancho High School library, took to the local TV station, KOAT, to report that she had found pages upon pages of “child pornography pictures and child abuse pictures”. She demanded that there be an investigation to find out how the book was allowed into the library in the first place.

Since KOAT’s initial “reporting” of the book’s content, several outstanding organizations have come to its defense. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a First Amendment protection group, has teamed up with the Kids’ Right to Read Project, and sent a letter to the Superintendent of Rio Rancho calling on the school to uphold it’s own preported standards of procedure when it comes to a book’s challenge. Additionally, the letter points out the obvious merits that the book carries within its pages, which have been lauded by numerous publications like The Times of London and Publisher’s Weekly over the years for Hernandez’s elastic realism approach to familial drama that immediately invokes comparison to writers such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  

pal panel 

Today, Greg Matiasevich at Multiversity posted an interview with Fantagraphics’ Associate Publisher, Eric Reynolds, and CBLDF Executive Director, Charles Brownstein to get their reactions to Palomar being pulled from the shelves as it awaits a formal review from the school. When asked about why the removal of such a book is important, Reynolds replies:

“I don’t much care whether Palomar is in one particular library or not, but I do care about one rogue parent bypassing appropriate channels to remove it, instead escalating via a media that was all too enthusiastic in egregiously mischaracterizing the content of the work, fueling community outrage with flat-out falsehoods. It’s unproductive for everyone involved.”

As Matiasevich points out, products based on comic books dominates our entertainment culture in the form of movies and TV shows, but too often the art form that these products were built off of is easily called out by those with little understanding of the medium itself, and shamefully erased from the hands of potential readers through public defamation. Brownstein and the CBLDF continue to take up these battles because “comics have a legitimate place in contemporary libraries and schools, but are more vulnerable to attack that other kinds of books because images are easier to take out of context and because there is still a diminishing, but lingering stigma that the medium is of low value.” 

Numerous titles have proven that assumption wrong over the years, but it’s important to remember no one deserves to have stories or art taken from their hands due to the opinion of one person. Palomar is awaiting its fate at the Rio Rancho High School library, and the CBLDF will be standing by to update on their final decision.