i had been doing some graphic novels purchasing for work and was doing quite a bit of research to figure out what are the important titles; what are the titles that are considered classic, influential and important. in essence, who are the big guns? well, hernandez's 'love and rockets' series kept popping up. intrigued, this is one of the books i picked up in toronto. 'maggie the mechanic' is the first of the 'love and rockets' compilations. i gotta tell ya, this is one interesting piece of work. think a latino archies, with some tank girl punk rock sensibility thrown in. it's like the 50s/the 80s/science fiction. this is the story of maggie, who is in fact a mechanic. she travels around the world repairing stuff and having some fairly crazy adventures involving dinosaurs, luchadores, hoverbikes, punk shows, psychotic dictators, and a somewhat unrequited love. back on the ranch, or more specifically, back at maggie's californian apartment that she shares with her roommate hopey, we get a more real life story that involves paying rent, buying new boots, drinking beers, and mooning after boys/girls. it took me a little while to get into this, it really is dense for a graphic novel. mucho, mucho text, and it's certainly not a short and easy read, but once i got into it i really, really liked it and look forward to following up with maggie and hopey in 'the girl from h.o.p.p.e.r.s'.