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Beyond Palomar (Love and Rockets)

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  333 ratings  ·  18 reviews
This volume collects the stories 'Poison River', a dizzying period piece which traces Luba's childhood up to her arrival in Palomar, and 'Love and Rockets X', set in the early 1990s, which takes us from plush Beverly Hills to the dangerous East Side.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published by Titan Books (first published December 17th 2007)
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I enjoyed this a lot more now than I did the first time I read it. I think the sharp tonal change that occurs towards the end of the second Palomar volume and continues here bothered me. Also Poison River (the story that takes up 3/4ths of this book) is infamously hard to follow. This time I read slowly and carefully and flipped back a lot to double-check things. It's certainly complex, but this time I didn't find it confusing. Mostly I was just in awe of Gilbert's ability to weave such a comple ...more
4 and a half stars. though i don't know why i'm docking it the half. maybe for Book 4? Gilbert Hernandez is a master of dialogue, of interwoven storylines, of ever-changing time. but it's always clear. every character, however minor, is distinct, and has a story. the Palomar saga here opens up into a larger verse, before and after Palomar, before Luba, and later as her children migrate to Los Angeles. but Palomar remains, at first undiscovered, then half-hidden in the midst of war (a promised la ...more
sweet pea
although the two stories in this volume don't have quite the same flavor as the Palomar stories, they are similarly brilliant and intricate in their web of interconnectedness. in the first, luba's checkered past is revealed while also illuminating the surprising past of other characters in the Palomar stories. the second story is an interesting slice of LA in the 1990s, with several Palomar characters involved in the plot. an exciting follow-up to the Palomar stories.
I always struggle to rate Gilbert Hernandez's work using this simple 5-star system. His early (1980's and 90's) books are among the smartest and most ambitious things I've read (comix or otherwise), but (almost by design) they are all imperfect, with confusing stretches and whole subplots that could have been axed. This collection contains two novel-length stories that epitomize this.

The first story, "Poison River," concerns Luba's pre-Palomar life. It's a fittingly dramatic origin story for a
Oh, this was just mind blowing. The story of Luba, the most controversial character in Palomar. This book expands the world of Hernandez brothers. They take the reader to the world of Mexican drugdealers and mafiosos. Still, it's all about beutiful women, who try to make their life in a brutal world of men, and men who can't controll their desire for women - and are therefore brutal.
This was definitely my favourite of the Gilbert stories I’ve read so far. I think it was because while there was still quite a large cast of characters focusing in on one story, or individual, made the stories more moving. I enjoyed the Pre-Paloma Luba. I felt sorry for her as a young kid, getting married leaving home. I did like how even when married to the gangster for years she maintained her innocence. It was interesting, and despite the violence it felt quite real. The 2nd story though was ...more
Recently I read, Love and Rockets: Beyond Palomar by Gilbert Hernandez. He has this knack for presenting characters like they were the "visible woman" he parades them around and you can see right through to the souls of these people, like right away you know everything about them. The first story follows the early life among violent gangs of a woman named Luba up to the point where she was introduced in the Heartbreak Soup stories. The second shorter story is about rising racial tension among ch ...more
maybe if i had read some of the earlier books in this series i would've been more into it, but i doubt it. i liked the drawing style and there were a couple funny jokes, but that's about it. i didn't like this book for the same reasons that i don't like most hollywood action films: gratuitous violence and sex, cheesy dialogue, lacking in subtlety, etc., etc. i'm pretty sure hernandez was trying to be tongue-in-cheek about it all, but even knowing that doesn't make the story interesting for me.
This one's easy to review; it's only 2 stories!

The first, Poison River, is a challenging read about Luba's history before she gets to Palomar, one that sometimes seems like it's not about Luba at all. Sometimes, it sings. doesn't.

The second, Love & Rockets X, however, is fantastic throughout. It's filled with haunting moments, difficult moments, exultant's just fantastic.
This is the first Love and Rockets stuff I've read- damn! The story is pretty convoluted in an awesome way. There's like a million characters and they can be hard to keep track of (usually they have a distinguishing mark like a MOUSTACHE or something, though). Anyway.... drugs, booze, murder, tranny anal.... it's all in this book. effing SWEET.

definitely gonna read more love and rockets.
Confused and ultimately bored with Poison River, which comprises most of this volume. Should've started over and read slowly, but lazy stoners should do lots of things. The shorter end story, however, an early 90s exploration of race in L.A. with layers added by a typical amazing Hernandez Bros. soundtrack, was awes.
5 stars to Poison River. This second read allowed me to savor the nuances of the plot without getting frustrated like last time. This is to say, if you can follow the plot and the huge cast, you're in for a comic book masterpiece.
Nelly Paulina
Not my flavor or style. Gave it three because dude is obviously a talented artist. It's the only reason I tried for as long as I did
I seem to eat a larger amount of food when reading Hernandez. Always a good sign.
Morbus Iff
I just cannot get into Luba's story or town.
Brock Rhodes
Brock Rhodes marked it as to-read
Mar 29, 2015
Jody Branin
Jody Branin marked it as to-read
Mar 17, 2015
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Fatima E. marked it as to-read
Feb 25, 2015
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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 56 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
Palomar: The Heartbreak Soup Stories Love and Rockets, Vol. 1: Music for Mechanics Heartbreak Soup Love and Rockets: New Stories #1 Sloth

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