Beyond Palomar (A Love and Rockets Book - 6) by Gilbert Hernandez

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The third book collecting Gilbert Hernandez's Palomar main storyline contains two classic Love and Rockets graphic novels in one beautiful volume: "Poison River" traces Luba's backstory, from child to teenage mob bride to her escape to Palomar. "Love and Rockets X'' is a wide-ranging, Altmanesque story set in early-1990s L.A.

The sixth volume of The Complete Love and Rockets Library is the third collection of writer-artist Gilbert Hernandez's Palomar main storyline. "Poison River" is a dizzying period piece often hailed as one of Hernandez's masterpieces. It traces the pre-Palomar childhood of Luba, her teenage marriage to gangster Peter Rio, the secrets behind her mysterious mother, all the way up to her subsequent escape and arrival in Palomar. This story introduces a number of characters and themes that occupied later issues of Love and Rockets (including Luba's mother Maria and her sinister guardian angel Gorgo), and is a riveting page-turner besides, with lots of sex, drugs, guns, politics, and women who can crack walnuts with their stomachs.

"Love and Rockets X," set in the early 1990s, takes us from plush Beverly Hills to the dangerous east side and introduces us to a dizzyingly diverse cast of characters, including a lowlife rock 'n' roll band, a "posse" of Black youths, a ditzy Hollywood mom and her spoiled son, a gay activist filmmaker and his rebellious, half-Iraqi daughter, and a group of racist thugs whose violent attack on an older woman sets the plot in motion — as well as bringing in several older characters, including a couple of Palomar expatriates. These stories originally appeared circa 1989–1999 in the long-running (and ongoing) Love and Rockets comic book series, also featuring work by Gilbert's brothers. L&R has been called "the greatest American comic book series of all time" by Rolling Stone and "a great, sprawling American novel" by GQ.