Esperanza (A Love and Rockets Book - 9) by Jaime Hernandez

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As Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez continue to delight readers new and old with the continuing adventures of their characters in the annual Love and Rockets: New Stories, Fantagraphics continues to collect their earlier stories in these fat, handy, and inexpensive collections. In this batch of “Locas” stories by Jaime Hernandez (picking up where 2010’s Penny Century collection left off), an older and wiser Maggie faces down her old demons and the “Ghost of Hoppers” in a full-length graphic novel (which also introduces one of Jaime’s greatest recent characters, Vivian the “Frogmouth,” the near-psychotic bombshell). Meanwhile, the ever-feisty but maturing Hopey (her Spanish birth name giving this collection its title) transitions from tending bar to teaching kindergarten (while still juggling a complex love life), and the final quarter of the book shows Maggie’s lovable ex Ray Dominguez being dragged into the aftermath of a grisly murder thanks to his falling for the “Frogmouth.”