Originally posted September 1, 2002. Excerpted from Cinescape online. Click pic for full review.
As legions of reviewers have noted, it’s good to have the world in order. A hated Republican leads us once again, and Los Bros are back at work publishing under the same cover. This issue of LOVE AND ROCKETS is the fifth in the new incarnation of the beloved book. Thus far, from my perspective, this issue comes closest to recapturing the magnificent experience that L&R offered a decade or more ago. Key to that experience, and I believe beginning to rear its head here, was a kind of refractory competition between Beto and Jaime, where the work of each would borrow and adapt themes from the other, as if to say, “Oh yeah? Here’s how a man does it, buddy! Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!” This spirit of exploration and competition clearly prodded the creators to the heights they achieved back then; let’s hope it gooses them now as well.
In this issue, the common theme is origins, and specifically, high school and the adolescent transition into maturity. Jaime leads off with the definitive Penny Century origin tale; Beto ripostes (or, since he began the story previously, perhaps it’s Jaime who ripostes) with “The High Soft Lisp,” covering Fritzi’s bumpy high-school days. As is often the case, Beto is reaching for a bigger topic here than Jaime appears to be. The central narrative concern in “Lisp” is Fritzi’s promiscuity.