Friday, January 14, 2005

This And That

Comics - Graphic Novels

Speaking of literature (someone was, right?) Any opinion about the illustrated mags? I like the hard-boiled and noir stuff such as 100 Bullets and American Century and just about anything my pal Gary Phillips is involved with - Angel Town, Shot Callerz and Midnight Mover, for examples. But, to keep the topic on point (or the point on topic) how about Los Bros Hernandez and their wide variety of work? LA City Beat had a recent article about Jaime Hernandez and the splendid Love and Rockets. Here's the opening paragraph:

"Cartoonist Jaime Hernandez taps barrio culture, magic realism, and punk-rock values to explore the inner lives of the feisty, goofy, maddening, stoic, impulsive girls in the acclaimed ‘Love and Rockets'".

Maggie, Ray and Hopey have aged a bit since they first appeared in 1981 in the original self-published Love and Rockets. But their ongoing changes continue to reflect the changing lifestyle of the artist and the SoCal landscape where the Locas now raise families, try to hold jobs, and, ya' know, just hang.

There was a time when I didn't write books but I sold them, through the mail. It was all Latino Lit. That was a fun gig, for a very short while until I decided I needed to spend more time creating my own books instead of selling someone else's. Anyway, my catalogs included trade paperback collections of Love and Rockets. Can you imagine that some people questioned why such things would be for sale right next to Bless Me, Ultima, The House On Mango Street, and Rain of Gold? That was several years ago - we are past that now, no?

Anyone out there with other comics, graphic novels, whatever you call them, that fit in with the overall Chicana/o theme of this blog? What is it about this art form that holds our attention long after the adolescent fantasy aspect is over? I confess to a guilty secret: I have always wanted to write one of these but never got to it. Any artist out there want to illustrate a Chicano noir tale (no superheroes and probably no redemption)?_____________________________________________________________________________Chicano Chicano Art Movement

Co-blogger Michael sent out a flash that the LA Times recently ran an article about the ever-changing Chicano art scene. The article is The New Chicano Movement and you should be able to get to it online. The author, Josh Kun, provides a good overview of the SoCal Chicana/o artist environment and the ongoing, classic dialectic between old and new, traditional and revolutionary.
Los Bravos

A reader asked about Los Bravos and the song Black is Black (1966). I think the implication of the question was that, maybe, Los Bravos was a Chicano band. I didn't really know, although I've always liked the song and it's pure, simple and catchy lyric: Black is black, I want my baby back, It's gray, it's gray, Since she went away, whoa-whoa. And then something about being blue, too. So, I did some checking. Found out:

The group was led by former Mike & the Runaways singer Michael Volker Kogel (born in Berlin, Germany, in 1944). The other four original members -- bassist Miguel Vicens Danus (born in Corunna, Spain, 1943), guitarist Tony Martinez (born in Madrid, Spain, 1944), organist Manuel Fernandez (Sevilla, Spain, 1942), and drummer Pablo Sanllehi (Barcelona, Spain, 1943) -- had all been working together previously in the Spanish group Los Sonors.

You can find out more about Los Bravos at Artist Direct.

Not a Chicano band - more like a German/Spanish band trying to crack the English Invasion.


Manuel Ramos