The Education of Hopey Glass

Writer(s): Jaime Hernandez
Artist(s): Jaime Hernandez
Publisher: Fantagraphics
ISBN: 978-1560979395
Price: $19.99
Page count: 128
Year Released: 2008
Status: in print
Original Source: Love and Rockets (vol. 2) 11-19
Other Collected Edition(s): n/a
Genres: humor; romance/relationships; short stories; slice of life
Recommended for Fans Of:
Possibly Objectionable Material: coarse language; nudity; violence
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Also in This Series: Preceded by Ghost of Hoppers; followed by Love and Rockets: New Stories, vol. 1

Plot Summary
This final collection of Jaime's "Locas" stories from Love and Rockets (vol. 2) begins with Hopey buying a pair of eyeglasses and, later, noting that everybody, seen through her new glasses, looks a whole lot older. So it seems that Hopey is finally growing up (just as Maggie did in Ghost of Hoppers). Although she hasn't quit her bartending job, Hopey is becoming a teacher's assistant at a small preschool--a job that I wouldn't have picked for her if it were the last available job on earth, frankly. But she takes to it pretty well--after a few minor mishaps and several instances of second guessing. She even quits smoking for the sake of the little tykes. In many ways, though, she's the same old Hopey, and her live-in girlfriend, Rosie, seems to have had enough.

Meanwhile, Jaime reintroduces Ray and his quest to hook up with the Frogmouth, Vivian. Running into her at a party, Ray momentarily steps away while she argues with Sid in a back alley only to catch a glimpse of Maggie--his old flame from Hoppers. As his frustratingly platonic relationship with Vivian develops over the next few days, it also seems to revolve entirely around Maggie. The initially awkward reunion of the old couple finally occurs, appropriately enough, at a comic convention after-party--with a little extra encouragement from Maggie's new friend Angel.

My Own 2 Cents
At one point Ray mentions that he and Maggie broke up "17 years ago" and I realized--with a bit of a shock--that I've lived with these characters for nearly 20 years now. One downside to reading a collected volume (versus reading the stories in comic book form, month by month) is that a great deal of the stories' power lies in the day-to-day atmosphere that they generate when you read them in brief installments over time. I truly hope that reading the entire Love and Rockets library for the first time--in the span of just a few days, weeks, or months--doesn't diminish the simmering, cumulative effect that these stories are capable of having on readers. The longevity of Love and Rockets is beneficial--and unique--in this way. Characters like Superman or Spider-Man have been around for much longer, but these characters have not grown in the way that Maggie and Hopey have since they first appeared 1982. As we enter the third era of Love and Rockets material (presented in the new series called Love and Rockets: New Stories), I look forward to spending at least another 20 years with my imaginary pals, Maggie and Hopey.