Front Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface. My Poison River Fiasco

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pp. ix-xii

The first time I read any work by Gilbert or Jaime Hernandez, I was completing my PhD in comparative literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1999. I was taking a graduate survey class on twentieth-century Spanish American fiction that included canonical pieces by Gabriel García Márquez, Julio Cortázar, and other greats. My professor had chosen Tomás Rivera’s novel …y no se lo tragó la tierra and Gilbert Hernandez’s graphic novel Poison River to represent Mexican American/Chicano/Latino...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xvi

First and foremost, I want to thank the Hernandez Brothers for their amazing body of work, and to Gilbert and Jaime in particular for granting me the personal interview that gave center and direction to this book. My sincerest gratitude goes to Frederick Aldama for starting this series and supporting me throughout the project. I am also very indebted to him as a model in work and life. Your energy, commitment, and inspiring research have always kept me going. ¡Gracias, mano! Another formative influence who has had...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-24

Los Bros Hernandez are a collective of sibling Latino comic book artists (Mario, Gilbert, and Jaime) who have been very influential in the American comic book industry. Born to a humble Mexican-American family in Oxnard, California, the brothers have taken an interesting career path to develop into the artists they are today. Their seminal experimental anthology Love and Rockets is their most important achievement, as it is one of the longest-running titles that has survived on the ever-changing comic book market, and is the text that fully demonstrates their artistic...

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Spotlight 1. Marble Season: Growing Up with Comics

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pp. 25-26

Marble Season is one of Gilbert Hernandez’s most recent original graphic novels, and one of the few that was not published by Fantagraphics. Unlike the majority of Gilbert’s other graphic novels, this one is a bildungsroman that does not feature one of Fritz’s B movies. Instead, it follows the childhood experiences of three fictional Latino siblings and includes many events similar to what Los Bros have disclosed in interviews about the Hernandez family. By turning his real-life experience into fiction, Gilbert comments on the formation of comic book fandom in the 1950s and shows how reading habits were...

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Chapter one. Subverting the Intertextual Comic Book Corporate Structure

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pp. 27-64

The works of Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez are critically acclaimed and generally well received inside and outside of the comic industry, but it is a challenge for casual readers to truly appreciate the intricacies of their work. The ideal reader would know how the comic book visual language works, would have some background knowledge about the material that has been published before in the American industry, and would be familiar with some basic aspects of Latino culture in the United States. The epic narrative scope of the Hernandez’s oeuvre, with its subversive sexuality, playful use...

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Spotlight 2. Robots in Jaime’s “Rocky” Stories and Gilbert’s Citizen Rex

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pp. 65-67

Robots are a staple of comic book culture that can be traced all the way back to Golden Age serials such as Buck Rogers and remain relevant in current sci-fi and superhero adventures. I already mentioned Maggie and Rand Race’s encounter with robots in Jaime’s “Mechan-X” in order to demonstrate how the author manipulated certain genre archetypes. These robots were visualized as trash in a junkyard, and by representing them as garbage, Jaime parodied the technological fetishes of genre comics. While both Jaime and Gilbert have used robots in their stories to replicate or subvert certain...

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Chapter two. The Revision of Latino Experience through Comic Book Genres and Soap Opera Devices in Gilbert’s Palomar and Jaime’s Locas Sagas

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pp. 68-114

As stated in the introduction of this book, Gilbert’s Palomar and Jaime’s Locas sagas are some of the most complex storylines to appear in the American comic book industry due to their thematic intricacy, multiple volumes, and long period of publication that has spanned over thirty years. This type of narrative requires a lot of commitment on the part of the reader, yet is something normal for experienced comic book fans who are accustomed to collecting comics and to reading endless pages of serialized storylines about the characters they follow. Traditional audiences, in contrast, tend to expect...

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Spotlight 3. “Chiro the Indian” (from Love and Rockets: New Stories #1, vol. 1)

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pp. 115-116

IN CHAPTER 2, I discussed the similarities and differences between Rius’s depiction of a fictional small Mexican town (San Garabato in Los supermachos) and Gilbert’s trans-Latin vision in his fictional Palomar. One of the stories that made me examine these connections in detail was Gilbert’s “Chiro the Indian,” a recent collaboration with his older brother Mario in the latest volume of Love and Rockets. Mario, as the older brother, was the one who actually brought Mexican comics into the Hernandez’s household and was thus more aware of their distinctive national aesthetics. “Chiro the Indian”...

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Chapter three. Interview with Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez

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pp. 117-134

In November 2013, I went to Ohio State University to attend the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum’s Grand Opening Festival of Cartoon Art. Professor Frederick Aldama was able to arrange a one-hour interview for me with Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez. Their conversation with professor Christopher González was the keynote event for the festival and cosponsored by the Wexner Center for the Arts and Ohio State’s University Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Later, I was also invited to join the brothers for dinner, which...

Notes

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pp. 135-154

Bibliography

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pp. 155-164

Index

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pp. 165-176

Back Cover

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