Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Education of Hopey Glass

Jaime Hernandez
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I've kind of neglected Jaime Hernandez over the years in favor of his talented brother Gilbert, but after Love & Rockets: New Stories #1 and then reading The Education of Hopey Glass, one has to admit that Jaime is a damn good artist, perhaps the best working in comics presently. Not a page went by in this latest Love & Rockets collection that I didn't stop to admire the artwork and cartooning prowess of the creator. The first half of The Education of Hopey Glass follows Hopey Glass herself as she transitions into a new part of her life, attending her first day of her new career as teacher's assistant. There's plenty of other stuff going on in her life, and she really takes a long hard look at herself and wonders what the hell she's doing, while still having plenty of fun Hopey-style. Then Angel, a friend of Hopey's past lover Maggie, gets a few short scenes centering around her athletic activities, and is later folded into the story that takes up the bulk of the ending of this collection: about Ray, a nice guy who begins a friendship with the strange, but beautiful Vivian, all the while thinking about his ex Maggie. These are some really beautiful stories full of complex, three-dimensional characters. Jaime paces thinks wonderfully, giving the characters those quiet moments to breathe, but also keeping things fast-paced and exciting with nice touches of small details. Relationships are as complicated in Jaime's world as they are in ours, and the people that live in these pages almost breathe their thoughts and hopes and fears for us to feel along with them.

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