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Chance in Hell (Love and Rockets)

3.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  320 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
Gilbert Hernandez's first original graphic novel from Fantagraphics follows on the heels of his acclaimed graphic novel, Sloth, from DC's Vertigo Comics in 2006. Chance in Hell tells the story about a little orphan girl who lives in the slum of slums. Nobody knows who she is or where she's from, but her fellow shantytown inhabitants collectively look over her. The three-ac ...more
Hardcover, 120 pages
Published September 17th 2007 by Fantagraphics (first published 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 456)
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Mar 28, 2016 Sam rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, graphic-novel
This is a chilling tale that takes place in a world where unwanted children are discarded in much the same way as rubbish. These children survive in the dumps, longing for the day that they can escape and live a 'normal' life where they are wanted and loved and feel part of society. We follow an orphan girl as she experiences such a change and finds it more difficult to leave the dump, and everything she experienced, behind than she imagined. This is a story about more than just adjusting to a n ...more
Dec 05, 2008 Anina rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Well I'm depressed now
Izetta Autumn
Sep 23, 2010 Izetta Autumn rated it did not like it
Shelves: graphicnovel
Apparently, I am just not hip enough to have gotten Gilbert Hernandez's Chance in Hell. While I enjoyed the graphic art, I found the story disjointed, and at times incomprehensible.

Hernandez opens his work on a ruined dystopia, a landscape where unwanted waste and children are abandoned, while the wealthy live in the city. There are several rather dark and unsettling references to child sexual abuse, that are to be revisited later in the novel. To me, however, I found the connections later in t
Fantagraphics Books
Aug 15, 2007 Fantagraphics Books rated it it was amazing
Gilbert Hernandez's first original graphic novel from Fantagraphics follows on the heels of his acclaimed graphic novel, Sloth, from DC's Vertigo Comics in 2006. Chance in Hell tells the story about a little orphan girl who lives in the slum of slums. Nobody knows who she is or where she's from, but her fellow shantytown inhabitants collectively look over her. The three-act story follows our heroine as she is adopted by a decent man who raises her well, and she eventually marries a kind, well-to ...more
Brendan Diamond
Jan 19, 2015 Brendan Diamond rated it did not like it
This is without a doubt one of the dumbest, most pointless pieces of garbage masquerading as deep and meaningful that I have ever read. Devoid of story, characters, or anything resembling meaning, Chance in Hell attempts to be shocking, political, and thought-provoking, but instead ends up telling a poorly conceived novella in fits and starts.

Worse is the atrocious "art," which amounts to little more than a poor inker's delusions of self-importance. The script, meanwhile, is garbage, consisting
Norman Kim
Feb 13, 2016 Norman Kim rated it really liked it
It's about the third time reading this one. Still unsure of what's going on at the very end. Obviously Empress has some issues, but I'm not convinced they're portrayed quite as honest as they could have been.. Or maybe I feel the ending is more abstract than it needs to be given the story in the first 75% of the book. Either way, great art nonetheless.
Eric Skillman
Aug 27, 2007 Eric Skillman rated it liked it
The first two thirds is great. The final act went off the rails a little for me—the story feels complete after the section with the Man and the Hearts of Gold, and what comes next doesn't quite have the oomph of the previous sections—Empress has been so hardened by her eariler experiences as to become unsympathetic... which makes sense, of course, but still...

One minor complaint: I liked the high-concept idea that Gilbert's been talking about in interviews—that this story is Fritz's (of L&R
Alex Scales
Jan 16, 2015 Alex Scales rated it really liked it
Shelves: comiiixwoo, altcomics
I admit having to read this book 6 times, and I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about the final page. This is Gilbert Hernandez at his most Lynchian, doing his version of a 70's exploitation art film. And as you'd expect, this isn't easy to follow.

Chance in Hell follows a woman named Empress through three periods of her life-- as a child, living in what I can only describe as a post-apocalyptic junk yard, as a teen where she is living in the city in under the care of a poetry translator, an
Jul 20, 2010 Marissa rated it did not like it
Shelves: comix
I'm starting to get really irked by graphic novels that use child sexual abuse as a central theme. It's one thing if they're written by actual survivors, but all too often it's just deployed as a weird gimmick. I didn't like the way it was used in this book either and I didn't like the narrative structure of the thing in general. Blargh.
Sep 03, 2008 Steve rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
Gilbert Hernandez has an established pedigree as one of the finest artists working in comics today. His years of work with his brother Jaime on Love and Rockets, literally spanning three decades, have led him to great critical acclaim for his talents in storytelling, including receiving multiple Harvey awards.

Thus it came as a bit of a surprise to me how poorly I regarded his new book Chance in Hell. While some aspects of the story were quite engaging and the art itself was at times beautiful,
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

I've mentioned here before, how the Chicago public library system here where I live has started making grown-up graphic novels more and more of an acquisitional priority; although I find most graphic novels not intellectually hefty enough to warrant full write-ups here at CCLaP, I do find them excelle
Jason Bradshaw
May 15, 2015 Jason Bradshaw rated it liked it
This is an interesting if, i think, not altogether successful piece of. I quite liked the storytelling and the actual way that the story was told in parts with quick vague scenes that could be entire sequences but are instead cut to single panels, making the book pretty large in scope for the size of the actual book. The actual story, however, didn't really grab me and its sometimes deteriorating coherence didn't help.
Shauta Marsh
Mar 04, 2008 Shauta Marsh rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone over the age of 10
Recommended to Shauta by: I did!
This is a graphic novel from Gilbert Hernandez (half the brain of the infamous comic book series Love and Rockets). First off if you haven't read Love and Rockets think Latino soap opera version of a VC Andrews novel but much more interesting featuring hot, strong beautiful, at times freakishly big breasted women.
This new series in actually the filmography of Fritz one of the characters who is a movie star in Love and Rockets. So this book is actually movie Fritz was in. It's a very dark story t
Aug 13, 2014 Ann rated it liked it
This is really 3.5 stars, I guess? I can't say I LIKED this book, because it was incredibly depressing, but that doesn't mean it's a bad book. Also, I really can't formulate too many thoughts about it because I don't want to think about it anymore.
Nov 03, 2015 Mejix rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the mixture of violence and melancholy but the story itself is not very satisfying. It just seems to fizzle into nothing. This feels like the background story of a character in a larger work.
Apr 06, 2014 Adam rated it liked it
don't get how it all fits together but the art is beautiful and the fragments of story I did understand were dark brutal and interesting.
Scott Greenfield
Oct 14, 2007 Scott Greenfield rated it it was ok
I went into this book with the highest of hopes. That's where the goodness ended. I have recently been reading the Fantagraphics reissues of the Love and Rockets series and having a great time with them. That was what led me to buy this book when I saw it on the shelf. To say that I was disappointed was an understatement.

What made LnR great was how you got to follow a single character through their entire life. In Chance in Hell, Gilbert Hernandez attempts to do the same thing but in only 120 pa
Jul 12, 2015 Francis rated it really liked it
A very in your face book testing on subjects a lot of people don't cover. I enjoyed the book very much
Devin Bruce
Jan 10, 2011 Devin Bruce rated it really liked it
This is a horrifyingly exquisite book, a beautifully-drawn nightmare of a story. Gilbert Hernandez uses his round, almost-innocent style to tell the story of innocense, corruption, sensuality, and brutality, through the story of Empress, a young girl who grows up in the book's three acts. It's hard for me to describe this book: it's certainly not easy to read but I think it's worthwhile. It has beautifully drawn pictures of terrible things and it tells a story that has the opportunity to surpris ...more
Jan 13, 2008 Summer rated it it was ok
What happened to Gilbert Hernandez? The genius behind the Palomar stories (especially Human Diastrophism) seems to have forgotten how to write and draw. I had assmed, with the Love and Rockets Vol. 2 work and the horribly subpar New Tales from Old Palomar that he was just getting burnt out on his old characters, but this is just awful. Meanwhile, his brother Jaime just keeps getting better. It's almost as if Los Bros only have so much talent to go around.

I'm giving this two stars because it *is*
Christine K
depressing. lost me the last quarter or so.
Feb 16, 2016 Arf rated it really liked it
my first i understand.
James Specht
Feb 01, 2008 James Specht rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
Gilbert Hernandez is one person whose work I've been following for years and I'll buy almost anything with his name on it. This isn't his strongest work but it's still worth checking out. I know his intention was to make a comic like a B-movie which, honestly, aren't 90% of all comics out there already B-movieish? I reads more Art Houseish if anything. Some of the imagery is fantastic and the mysterious sexual imagery would make David Lynch jealous. Still, its not as good as his previous graphic ...more
Dave Wynn
Mar 16, 2014 Dave Wynn rated it really liked it
Grim! Not a pleasant read.
Jun 08, 2008 HeavyReader rated it did not like it
I think I like Jaime Hernandez's stories more than I like those of his brother Gilbert.

This book has the dream-like quality of other works of Gilbert's that I've read before, but really, this one is a lot more of a nightmare. It starts off weird and twisted and just gets stranger. There's a lot of violence here, so it's not for the faint of heart.

No offense, Gilbert, but I just like Maggie and Hopey more, maybe because I can related to and understand their trials and tribulations.
Aug 08, 2013 Daniel rated it liked it
A very bleak and depressing story. Gilbert's drawing skills are of course never less than top-notch and the story has some genuinely intriguing points, but it feels somewhat undeveloped and slapdash. Perhaps this is intentional, since this is part of the "Fritz B-Movie" series, so perhaps it lives up to the concept, but since it's also a Gilbert Hernandez comic book, my expectations for it were higher.
Jun 16, 2012 Joe rated it it was ok
The art (like all Gilbert's work) is beautifully done throughout this book, but the plot never really feels totally developed. This is really a set of vignettes, all featuring the same character at different points in her life. I never really felt like the main character grows/develops dimension, though. I liked the ideas in the foundation of this piece, but felt like it wasn't executed very well.
Oct 13, 2009 Damien rated it liked it
This was extremely distressing, but you cannot deny that Gilbert Hernandez has incredible talent. It has that tragic Brazilian movie quality like "Pixote" or "City of God". Like the story of Sisyphus, there really is NO "chance in hell" with this story, but you almost always feel like the main character is just about to find some small taste of happiness and security.
Russell Grant
Jul 29, 2011 Russell Grant rated it really liked it
Rather bleak look at abuse and how things that happen to us as children effect us our whole life. Which is fitting I guess. It chuffed me though, in that it looked like Pippo from L&R is in it, but this is billed as a stand alone graphic novel. If this is part of Love and Rockets... then Beto has to get a proper reading order posted since it's confusing as fuck.
Oct 29, 2011 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: love-and-rockets
One of the odder Beto stories, and that's saying something. There's a strange ending that seems to just serve as a very dark punchline to a very dark joke, and it seems like the rest of the story is that, too. However, Beto's storytelling skills are fully on display here, and his art is superb as ever. I'm just left befuddled as to what he's trying to say.
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Gilbert and his brother Jaime Hernández often write together under the name "Los Bros Hernandez".

Gilbert Hernandez, born in 1957, enjoyed a pleasant childhood in Oxnard, California, with four brothers and one sister. In Gilbert’s words, they were “born into a world with comic books in the house.” His childhood enthusiasm for the medium was equaled only by his appetite for punk rock.

Initiated by ol
More about Gilbert Hernández...

Other Books in the Series

Love and Rockets (1 - 10 of 57 books)
  • Love and Rockets, Vol. 1: Music for Mechanics
  • Love and Rockets, Vol. 2: Chelo's Burden
  • Love and Rockets, Vol. 3: Las Mujeres Perdidas
  • Love and Rockets, Vol. 4: Tears from Heaven
  • Love and Rockets, Vol. 5: House of Raging Women
  • Love and Rockets, Vol. 6: Duck Feet
  • Love and Rockets, Vol. 7: The Death of Speedy
  • Love and Rockets, Vol. 8: Blood of Palomar
  • Love and Rockets, Vol. 9: Flies on the Ceiling
  • Love and Rockets, Vol. 10: X

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