Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book
Rate this book
The sequel to the 2003 perennial classic, Palomar . Gilbert Hernandez climaxed his award-winning “Palomar” series at the end of Love and Rockets' original run by leveling the Central American hamlet. But he soon picked up the story of Luba: The hammer-wielding matriarch had emigrated to the U. S. where she contended not only with an unwelcoming new culture but also her extended family. These “America” stories - over 80 of them, ranging from quick one-page blackout sketches to graphic novellas - were originally published in a number of different comics and reprinted in a trilogy of oversized paperbacks. Luba collects in one compact, affordable hardcover the entirety of these tales, showcasing Gilbert Hernandez's wicked wit, great compassion, and uncanny understanding of how human beings love, squabble, and ultimately find a way to make it through this life.

608 pages, Hardcover

First published February 15, 2009

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Gilbert Hernández

384 books390 followers
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 older brother Mario and bankrolled by younger brother Ismael, Gilbert created Love and Rockets #1 with his brother Jaime in 1981. Over 30 years later, the series is regarded as a modern classic and the Hernandez brothers continue to create some of the most startling, original, and intelligent comic art ever seen.

From 1983 to 1996, Gilbert produced the now legendary Palomar saga, collected in the graphic novels Heartbreak Soup and Human Diastrophism, and considered to be one of the defining bodies of literature of its era.

Gilbert lives in Las Vegas, NV, with his wife Carol and daughter Natalia.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
110 (43%)
4 stars
89 (35%)
3 stars
41 (16%)
2 stars
10 (3%)
1 star
4 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 28 of 28 reviews
Profile Image for Hamish.
501 reviews149 followers
August 17, 2013
I had previously read this in bits and pieces and never bothered finishing it because it seemed like such a huge disappointment after the wonderful Palomar stuff. But I saw it for super cheap on one of those hugs sale Fantagraphics occasionally does and I decided to give it another chance. A lot of my original criticisms still stand: Many of the characters lose their humanity and Gilbert just seems to want to give us an endless list of their pettinesses and sexual proclivities. There's a certain warmth to those old Palomar stories that's gone here as we watch everything wallowing in darkness. It has its merits, but it really suffers by comparison.

I'm still really glad this book exists though. I have two main complaints about most graphic novels: 1) They're too often made by fantastic artists who can't write for shit and 2) They're usually like 100 pages and take an hour tops to read. So I love that this massive tome lasts a really long time and that Gilbert is a very talented cartoonist who knows how to write. Art-wise this might actually be his best work. He's not a flashy, "I can't believe how good this looks!" type artist (like Jaime can be), but he's a great storyteller, an experimenter in form, with a wonderful eye for facial expressions, body language and character design. And if this isn't his best writing, I still never doubt that he has the chops, and he has more than a few moments here. Despite my complaints, "Luba" has a lot of charming scenes and clever uses of the comics form. There are some parts that drag and others that make you wonder what he was trying to accomplish (Fortunato???), but just as many that hit home. He's incredible at conveying character with just a line of dialogue or a single smirk, and his characters are always extremely well-rounded, complex and fully-realized. At times it's frustrating to see an all-time great talent of the art form doing some questionable things, but in Gilbert's case it's still worth reading.
Profile Image for Chriso.
52 reviews
June 1, 2012
I recently discovered that not only is there a branch of the San Francisco public library just 6 blocks from my apartment, but they also have a random assortment of graphic novels, comic anthologies, trade paperbacks, etc. I've been going there regularly to check things out, especially anything to expand me beyond my superhero comics-focused past. I've read bits and pieces of the Hernàndez brother's oeuvres, but not a ton and not sequentially. So when I laid eyes on this grand tome it seemed like the perfect in-depth read to crack a little further into their prolific output. And I loved it! First off, I always appreciate and admire when someone can create a central character that is difficult to like. Luba is very human - lovable at times, infuriating at others. She's perfectly imperfect, as are the siblings, friends and other family members floating around her. I developed a special fondness for Venus, Luba's niece, a quirky, comic book loving, outspoken young girl who is often the central narrator of her family's experiences through letters to her cousin. She grows up in some of the stories toward the end of the anthology and, even though those stories are great too, I had a hard time letting go of little kid Venus with her blunt bangs and her dreamy headspace. But Venus is just one of the many fantastically colorful characters (despite the black and white presentation) that Gilbert Hernàndez created in Luba's world, and it's hard not to fall in love with all of them.
Profile Image for Jonathan Lee.
18 reviews
June 20, 2019
Some of the early short stories was a little iffy to me but as I read more and more of this collection, I began to enjoy it more. I feel a lot of critics say that Beto's work post-Palomar is a far more weaker and I mostly disagree. Yes, the warm magical realist vibe of those stories are sorely missed but this is still strong work and the themes from Palomar such as the complications when it comes to family and community are still prevalent. With the characters, I enjoy most of the new ones such as the Luba's half-sisters Petra & Fritz, Petra's precious daughter Venus, and Hector. Now with the characters from Palomar, I do enjoy the ongoing drama with Luba, Ofelia and Luba's daughters. To me, these characters from the emotional core of this volume. And also the Venus stories are just adorable. Finally, with the art, I feel Beto is taking more and more on R. Crumb influence. He will never as polished and eye-candy as his brother but it works.
Profile Image for Michael.
3,017 reviews
April 3, 2018
I think I already talked about the Luba books when it was a softcover trilogy, but I got the new edition. It's really the best way to experience Beto's vision: dozens of short stories spotlight different aspects of each character, so by the time you've read all 600 pages, you've seen their graces, their warts and anything possible in between. This particular book doesn't quite match the astonishing accomplishment of Palomar (still my favorite single comic title ever), as it tends toward the gratuitously exploitative more than I'd like ideally, but Beto's character work - particularly with Venus and Guadalupe - is still spectacular. His ability to make a single character reprehensible in one short, and then show their caring, hilarious side just a few pages later is nothing short of miraculous. Luba's definitely one of the best books around.
Profile Image for Sonia.
272 reviews
November 26, 2016
I had read 95% of these stories in their original small book formats, but the changeover to a new L&R series made me want to run through a bunch quickly (and my library is so awesome). Fritz is sure one messed-up woman. I feel lots of sympathy for her sisters.
Profile Image for Michael Beblowski.
150 reviews5 followers
June 4, 2017
I had eagerly ordered the initial Love and Rockets series through inter-library loan, beginning with Maggie the Mechanic, and for some reason could not get into it. Perhaps the Hernandez Brother's reissued graphic novel compendiums could have benefited from a larger format? The paperback condensed the images to a scale that resembled the early box-centered superhero pulp comics of yore, a narrowing of artistic vision that does not appeal to me. But, after reading the nearly 600 page, hefty hardcover volume detailing Luba de los Santos in America, a graphic novel about three voluptuous and sexually autonomous half-sisters living in Southern California with a tele-novella network of intrigue and cast of characters, all told in a satirical tone, I will revisit the Luba in Palomar series. Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez create very distinctively powerful female protagonists, many who are queer, and situate them in melodramatic soap operatic moments with a dash of magical realism and plenty of astute irony.
Profile Image for Grant.
114 reviews3 followers
February 15, 2018
Took me forever to read this, which is understandable since it's about a foot thick. Wonderful stuff.
Profile Image for Shaun.
127 reviews2 followers
December 27, 2020
Whichever Hernandez book I’m reading is the best. This is the best. 6 out of 5!
Profile Image for Baal Of.
1,213 reviews40 followers
May 3, 2014
This is the first Love And Rockets related comic I've ever read, so I didn't really know what to expect. This kind of drama based comic, about regular people doing a lot of regular things isn't normally something I would get into to, but because Hernandez brings such depth to his characters, I was won over. Unlike most comics, his characters have wildly different body types, and they actually age in realistic ways - gaining and losing weight, shifting body proportions, gaining wrinkles, etc. And the comic is told at different points in time in a non-linear fashion, so he must have a put a lot of thought into keeping that aspect of his character design consistent. my favorite character was definitely Venus, with her snarky and insightful personality.
Profile Image for Nadia.
250 reviews11 followers
July 15, 2013
I haven't hated half a book this much while still liking other parts since I read Lord of the Rings. I went back and forth on whether to give it a 2 or a 3 or at times just throw this thing across the room, but the ending won me over and made me a nicer reviewer.
A+ trolling overall.

No but seriously if you like these characters and want to stop reading before this book, I can't honestly say that that's a terrible idea.
Profile Image for Wes Young.
335 reviews6 followers
September 26, 2012
The "america" stories left me yearning for Palomar. Hernandez's collection leaves a lot to be desired; the stories have no traction and the characters have little going on of any interest. Hernandez's shining star in this collection is Venus, who is well crafted and easily likeable. Otherwise, I would say Luba is for only the most hardcore Hernandez Brothers fans.
Profile Image for Juan Pablo.
Author 5 books37 followers
September 1, 2016
Agrupación de los cómics 'Luba en norteamérica', 'El libro de Ofelia' y 'Tres hijas'. Estos tomos tan grandes no son muy cómodos para leer, pero la recopilación es excelente. Hace 28 años leí mis primeras historias sobre Palomar, y en sus últimas historias Beto sigue manteniendo la misma fuerza que entonces.
Profile Image for Cornelius.
19 reviews
August 19, 2009
While this stuff was being serialized I kinda thought Beto had lost it. It seemed like story after story featuring big dicks and big tits and that one guy who had two dicks. But reading it all at once I was blown away. I was very sad when I was finished!
Profile Image for Paul Schulzetenberg.
148 reviews6 followers
February 16, 2011
If your id wrote comics, it would be a lot like this book. There's lots of sex, connected by a few thin threads of plot. I read about 100 pages, before getting bored and putting it down. The drawings are good, but a weak plot just isn't enough to keep me interested.
Profile Image for Mark.
2,134 reviews37 followers
September 30, 2014
It was kind of odd but I did enjoy it. Sometimes there seemed to be too many characters and I'd get lost in who was who or what their relationships were. Also, the stories and vignettes are not in strict chronological order so it makes it difficult to fully grasp. Lots of sex.
Profile Image for Keith.
38 reviews148 followers
April 26, 2014
Even after 600 pages I'm not sure what to make of this. I love Beto's early work and what he's doing now, but this collection—spanning the mid-'90s through the mid-'00s—isn't my favorite stretch by a long shot. Still, some brilliant stuff here and it's an essential part of the Los Bros story.
Profile Image for Tate Ryan.
89 reviews
August 13, 2014
I like beautiful and attractive women as much as any man does; but this is an overload, with ladies curves getting bigger and bigger by the page and the behaviour of the women matching a teenagers dream. All in all, all fantasy and no substance.
Profile Image for AL.
206 reviews14 followers
March 28, 2014
I've always liked Beto better, especially the Luba storyline, and now it is uncluttered by his brother's dubious ramblings. Very satisfying.
Profile Image for Chris Infanti.
69 reviews8 followers
November 7, 2013
Good stories from Beto here, but not something to read all in one sitting - I'll probably revisit at some point.
Profile Image for Ashleigh.
80 reviews1 follower
June 19, 2016
Venus is officially my new favourite literary character - I want a graphic novel all about her now!
Profile Image for Anthony Faber.
1,579 reviews4 followers
December 20, 2016
The whole Palomar goes off the rails a bit here. Everybody's having sex with everyone else and there's too much drama. The character Venus is pretty fun, though.
Profile Image for Kevin.
36 reviews1 follower
April 30, 2010

Another great compilation of Hernandez's great stuff. Sex, violence, love, rockets!
Displaying 1 - 28 of 28 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.