It was a brisk and clear Charlotte Autumn afternoon and a group of eleven met to discuss the comic work of Jaime Hernandez in general and The Girl From Hoppers collection in specific. We were lucky enough to have three local artists along with Craig Fischer from (the recently disbanded) The Panelists amongst our number of LOCAS enthusiasts. The biggest challenge with moderating is that you are always looking for a follow-up question and it is nigh impossible to take any kind of notes that could result in a coherent recap.
But here is the “10,000 Feet Above the Discussion Group” view:
- We took advantage of the artists in residence and discussed Jaime’s drawing technique and how he is able to use all of his skills to enhance the mise-en-scene (see Mom, that 20K you spent on my college education was a good investment!) of each panel.
- We deftly danced around the major events of the most recent L&R story since many in attendance had not read it yet. That was a real drag, but–as per our charter: We focused on how The Death of Speedy affected all subsequent stories in the collection.
- We delved into Jaime’s storytelling and how he is able to jump cut and change narrative focus throughout each story without using any kind of establishing shot and still provide solid, clear storytelling.
- We looked at the absence of Hopey from the Speedy story and how her presence may have altered the events that transpired (transpired!–see previous college note).
- We pondered how Speedy died and whether the ‘How’ was more important than the after-affects of his demise.
- We closely examined the 4 page Tear It Up, Terry Downe and how Jaime said volumes with what he chose to ignore or omit.
- We disagreed strongly on Jaime’s uses of genre trappings– super-heroes, Science fiction and pro-wrestling; were they integral parts of the LOCAS world or were they devices that Jaime outgrew as his talents matured?
In the same light, we discussed Maggie and Hopey’s relationship and sexuality, and how they changed over time as characters.
The conversation was exciting, intelligent and impassioned. I came away from the discussion feeling as though I were a bettter reader; I hope my fellow discussioneers felt the same way.
Regardless, I can’t wait to re-read Wig Wam Bam and the LOCAS II Hardcover.
My thanks to all in attendance; you guys are a joy to talk to.
For December– we are going to kick back and have some super-hero fun by discussing all four volumes of Ellis/Cassaday’s Planetary. We’ll announce a definite date after Thanksgiving and hope to see you there!
photographs provided by Heather Mobley