Friday, 31 May 2013

Comica conversation - Jaime Hernandez and Woodrow Phoenix

Ti-Girls: Espectra and Angel
Though I have been reading comics ever since I was big enough to pick one up (see my biography for proof of this) there are huge gaps in my knowledge. I had heard of Love & Rockets by the Hernandez brothers before and knew that it was held in high regard but never actually read any of it. Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez have been creating comics for 30 years so I've got a lot of catching up to do.

Last night Woodrow Phoenix did a wonderful job of interviewing Jaime Hernandez as part of the launch of BD & Comics Passion being held at Institut Fran├žais in London (30 May - 2 June 2013).

Woodrow Phoenix is a fan of Jaime's work and highly knowledgeable about it, his gentle questioning helped novices like me to understand the importance of Jaime Hernandez's comics and the ground-breaking characters he created. A bonus was that Woodrow and Jaime both came across as funny, charming and mutually respectful. It was one of the best interviews I have seen.

For this post I will concentrate on Jaime Hernandez's Ti-Girls stories. The Ti-Girls are a group of female super heroes that are not in the usual mould - many different body types and ages are joyfully represented here. Jaime draws women in a way that is rarely seen but I wish there were more of it, every bump and bulge is lovingly celebrated and the women are full of life and humour. Each character moves and stands in her own way, these are fully realised personalities that almost seem ready to step off the page. I like all the Ti-Girl characters but perhaps my current favourite is Xochitl/Espectra (see image above), I have been trying to work out what her super hero costume is made out of - it almost looks knitted but I think it might be Crimplene. It is this kind of attention to detail that makes Jaime's work so wonderful.

Not all of Jaime's stories are about superheroes but they all seem to be full of fantastic characters. I might have to build another bookshelf to accommodate all the books of his that I want to buy.

For more information about Jaime Hernandez and his books go to his publisher's website Fantagraphics.

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