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'Love & Rockets' comic celebrates 30 years at Alternate Reality

PHOTOS: AZIZ BAWANY
PHOTOS: AZIZ BAWANY

The opening page of Love & Rockets #1 says it all. After reprinting the self-published comic into a new #1, Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth affectionately hinted at something spectacular coming from brothers Jaime, Gilbert and Mario -- collectively known as Los Bros. Hernandez. That was 30 years ago, and he was right on the money.

The Dec. 1 Love & Rockets 30th anniversary event at Alternate Reality Comics was a packed house featuring a solid line of fans approaching the autograph table with eager anticipation. There, brothers Jaime and Gilbert -- a Las Vegas resident; he showed up with daughter Natalia -- graciously signed comics, delved into the secret origins of some of their famous stories, and discussed the process in crafting their cartoons. Along the walls of the store were original art pieces showing the intracacies in each panel, with whiteout marks revealing details into the artists' process in creating such a famous work.

Fans ate up the time spent with Los. Bros Hernandez, whose work beautifully catalogs youthful energy, science fiction, adulthood and cultural themes, among other topics, into such a flowing narrative. The two were in good spirits and demonstrated that their dedication to the cartooning artform was due much respect. In the comics industry, many books hit milestones because of money or its potential as a movie, videogame or similar franchise. For Love & Rockets, their anniversary was earned through creativity pulled from the soul, wonderful storytelling that is original and unique, and dedication.