The Education of Hopey Glass

Comic book, 2009

Man. How the fuck do you review a Jaime Love and Rockets book? This seems to be a problem that a lot of people have, as you hear a lot of people talk about how Jaime’s books are their total fave, but not a lot of talk about why or what his books are even about. People are right, they’re really good. A solid argument could be made for them being the best comics ever. So why is it so hard? Here are some possible reasons: they’re somewhat indistinct from each other, there are a lot of them with no clear point of entry (although The AV Club tried to give you one a while back) and, on the surface, they might appear to be fairly light. The Education of Hopey Glass, the latest collection of Jaime’s work originally serialized in Love and Rockets, is one of the best ever and requires the least amount of work to figure out what’s going on beneath the surface. But it doesn’t feel blunt, it just feels like we’ve reached a big turning point in the life of Hopey Glass, a main character of the series who has felt fairly adrift for the last two or so decades. Hopey, as fiercely an independent and anti-authoritarian character as they come, seems to settle down a bit and get a real job (as a teacher’s aide), it doesn’t feel sad or like she’s selling out her punk roots. It feels like finally, maybe Hopey can slow down and be happy for a bit. Maybe she can stop and look around. It’s a very rewarding turn in the life of a character that’s been fighting for a long, long time. Unfortunately, you really have to have been reading Love and Rockets for a long time to get the full impact of it. But, then again, in the story arc after this one everyone gets superpowers and starts flying around the universe so, you know, whatever. 5

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