Reading Love and Rockets (Paperback)

Reading Love and Rockets By Marc Sobel Cover Image
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A deep dive into the first 50 issues of the Hernandez Brothers’ acclaimed comic series, this scholarly book seeks to answer the question: What makes Love and Rockets such an enduring classic of the medium?

Love and Rockets by Gilbert, Jaime, and Mario Hernandez is one of the greatest comic series ever created. However, running consistently for 40 years and encompassing a diverse array of characters, settings, and cultural influences, this literary universe can be daunting to explore. With Reading Love and Rockets, writer Marc Sobel offers an accessible entry point into L&R, an invaluable resource to both new readers and fans who want to deepen their understanding of the series.

Reading Love and Rockets hones in on the first 50 issues of the series, tracking the evolution of the characters and storylines, as well as the Hernandez Brothers’ growth as artists and writers across this 15-year span of creation. Breaking down each issue in sequence, Sobel blends together his own sharp-eyed observations with analysis from a variety of scholars, critics, and fans to provide a well-rounded perspective on the series. Plus, explorations into topics as wide-ranging as magical realism, women’s wrestling, and the Southern California punk scene reveal the fascinating influences at the heart of these stories. Readers daring enough to embark on this illuminating journey through Palomar and Hoppers 13 will return with a richer appreciation for this masterpiece of graphic literature. Luxuriously illustrated throughout with scenes from the comic.

About the Author

Marc Sobel is the two-time Eisner-nominated editor of The Love and Rockets Companion (Fantagraphics) and the author of Brighter Than You Think: Ten Short Works by Alan Moore (Uncivilized Books). His work has also appeared in The Comics Journal, Boing Boing, Sequart, and Comic Book Galaxy.

Praise For…

Reading Love and Rockets offers a roadmap to the Hernandez brothers’ glorious achievement, the influences that shaped it, and the conversations that swirl around it. This book is an indispensable critical companion to the series that defined alternative comics.

— Charles Hatfield, Comics Studies: A Guidebook

A lavishly illustrated resource on the art and culture of one of the most important series of all time, Reading Love and Rockets is hard to put down. Sobel’s guide offers impressive range and detail, and the result is a compellingly full picture of the world of the Hernandez brothers and their comics masterpiece.

— Hillary Chute, Why Comics? From Underground to Everywhere

Sobel leaves no doubt that Love and Rockets is the masterpiece of our time! This tour de force synthesis of decades of sedulous sleuthing and deft archival digging into all corners of cultural influence and ephemera allows Sobel to peel back those resplendent palimpsestic layers that suffuse Love and Rockets Volume 1.

— Frederick Luis Aldama, Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics

Reading Love and Rockets will instantly become the go-to book for fans of the Hernandez brothers... and all-around fans of graphic narrative, semiotics, sequential art, and American literature. With word, image, and the researching zest of Umberto Eco, Sobel tracks down the minutia and the maxima of the Love and Rockets universe.

— William A. Nericcio, Cultural Studies in the Digital Age

The new book is welcoming enough that newbies won’t be lost, but also provides plenty of fascinating details for long-time fans.
— Cinema Sentries

Sobel is the perfect person to help shepherd this book: He's written at length about Love and Rockets, and always with insight and intelligence.


A genuine phenomenon and classic of comics entertainment, Love and Rockets should be compulsory reading for any friend of the art form. This companion tome will make navigating the huge interconnected Hernandez universe simplicity itself and I thoroughly commend it.

— Comics Review

I don’t really understand why the material of Love and Rockets isn’t widely regarded as one of the finest pieces of fiction of the last 35 years. Because it is.

— Neil Gaiman
Product Details
ISBN: 9781683968870
ISBN-10: 1683968875
Publisher: Fantagraphics
Publication Date: March 5th, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English
Series: Love and Rockets