The Art of Jaime of Hernandez:
The Secrets of Life and Death
by Todd Hignite
YES! It's here: a dream come true. Designed by Jordan Crane, and perfectly printed on high quality flat white stock, every page of this oversize hardcover book is a wonder. Where to start with a book like this? Well, first off, there are the page after flawless page of full color reproductions of Jaime's black and white (and color) original artwork – including many pieces of unpublished art, several of which are real eye-openers! Then there is the uncovered cache of rare ephemera like punk rock fliers, early L & R ads, and local and national magazine covers. Also unearthed are drawings from Jaime's childhood years, including those that cover Jaime's Oxnard High School Pee-Chee folder, amongst which is one of the first ever depictions of Maggie! Best of all, there is a veritable family scrap book worth of photos documenting the Hernandez clan's development from its earliest days (Jaime in diapers!) on up through the halcyon days of punk rock splendor and beyond that will have long time Love and Rockets fans dewy eyed more than once.
AND, this book isn't just about the art, it's also about the man behind the art. It's full of choice quotes from Jaime and others in his circle, all of which go a long way towards shedding light on the particular nature of his genius. Our favorite so far is this gem of Jaime's, in response to the suggestion that he build on his popularity to step into the mainstream: "That's not the next step. Love and Rockets is the last step. I 'made it' when we did the first issue. Everything else – The New York Times, even making a movie – is lesser than Love and Rockets, as far as I'm concerned, and everyone else should treat their work that way. If it's your own work, it should be treated as the last thing, not the first thing." Amen to that.
Written and curated by Comic Art Magazine founding editor, Todd Hignite, this massive hardcover volume builds on and extends Comic Art's tradition of high standards in writing, graphic design and production. Hignite's introduction, craftily employing Jaime's New York Times serial "La Maggie la Loca" as both its jumping off point and visual foil, is a model of concise clear prose in the service of promoting an ideal. The body of the book constructs a well rounded portrait of the artist that will stand the test of time. We'd say more, but we're all too busy poring over the pages and dabbing our eyes...
retail price - $40.00
copacetic price - $34.00
prices and availability current as of 10 April 2010