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Originally published Thursday, February 8, 2007 at 12:00 AM

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Comics Watch | Lots of love (but probably fewer rockets) for Los Bros

Los Bros Hernandez are coming to la casa de Fantagraphics. To mark a staggering 25 years of their influential "Love and Rockets" comics...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Los Bros Hernandez are coming to la casa de Fantagraphics.

To mark a staggering 25 years of their influential "Love and Rockets" comics, creators Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez are dropping by the new Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, 1201 S. Vale St. in Georgetown, for a couple of events:

Saturday, 5 to 8 p.m.: A gala reception for an exhibition of their original artwork that will run for a month.

Sunday, 1 to 3 p.m.: A panel discussion on "L&R" moderated by Fantagraphics prez Gary Groth, followed by a book signing with Los Bros.

The first cartoonists that Seattle-based Fantagraphics published, the Mexican brothers from Southern California (Gilbert now lives in Las Vegas, Jaime in Los Angeles) were pioneers of the alternative comics scene in the '80s. No capes, apart from on an occasional pro wrestler. Both brothers use black-and-white art with Archie-esque clean lines to tell sprawling multicultural, multigenerational — and adult — stories with big casts of characters who age visibly as the years pass. The company recently published massive hardcover volumes collecting the individual work of both.

Jaime's "Locas" ($49.95, 712 pages), aka "Hoppers 13," is Spanish for "crazy women." The two central characters are Maggie, a bisexual mechanic with a weight problem, and Hopey, a feisty punk musician and Maggie's sometime lover.

Gilbert's "Palomar" ($39.95, 512 pages), aka "Heartbreak Soup," is the name of a little Central American village where "men are men and women need a sense of humor," and the inhabitants' stories have a touch of magic-realism that sets them apart from the soapier "Locas." Its main character, gigantic-breasted, hammer-brandishing Luba, gives baths for a living when she arrives, and eventually becomes mayor.

Find out more at their Fantagraphics page: www.fantagraphics.com/artist/losbros/losbros.html.

Since its opening Dec. 2, the bookstore/gallery, which shares space with a record store, has hosted events for Jim Woodring ("Frank"), Peter Bagge ("Hate"), Ellen Forney ("I Love Led Zeppelin") and an exhibition for its quarterly "MOME" comics anthology.

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