Brothers Jaime & Gilbert Hernandez have been writing & drawing their creator-owned series Love and Rockets since 1981, taking only a short break from 1996 to 2001. Jaime and Gilbert both introduced interesting, well-developed, genuinely compelling casts of characters in their portions of the series.
One of Jaime Hernendez’s lead characters is Margarita Luisa “Maggie” Chascarrillo, a woman of Mexican American heritage who grew up in southern California. Love and Rockets takes place in real time, and over the past four decades readers have seen Maggie progress from a teenager to adulthood to middle age. “The Ghost of Hoppers” ran through the first 10 issues of volume two. Maggie, at this point now in her late 30s, is an apartment manager in San Fernando. A visit from her old friend Izzy is followed by Maggie experiencing strange & spooky images. In this chapter Maggie (who is nicknamed “Perla” by her relatives) pays a visit to the old neighborhood to visit her sister Esther and her family. Over after-dinner coffee Maggie hears the latest gossip about Izzy’s spooky old house, which naturally worries her, given her recent visions.
Love and Rockets is a soap opera, but both Jaime and Gilbert have regularly ventured into magical realism with their stories. The events in “The Ghost of Hoppers” are framed in such a manner that the reader can to decide if all of this weirdness is genuinely occurring, or if Maggie is merely imagining it all.
Whatever the case, “The Ghost of Hoppers” was another intriguing, moving installment in Jaime Hernandez’s long-running storyline.