Hernandez Brothers spent the weekend with their fans at DINK, the Denver Independent Comic and Art Expo Apr. 8-9, 2017. This year’s guests honor are loved for expressing their ideas on race, gender, sexuality, social status, and religion back when it was not at all politically correct. They are the creators of the underground comic “Love and Rockets” that over the years has received accolades and garnered a huge fan following. They were joined by an impressive list of comic creators and graphic novelists that all gathered to celebrate comics and art. Jaime, Gilbert, and Mario were this year’s guests of honor and were presented with a prestigious DINKy Award for Legendary Comics during the big Saturday night ceremony. It was perfect timing as it happened to be the 35th anniversary of “Love and Rockets.”
Colleen Bement: What inspired you to be so brave to do “Love and Rockets,” and what inspires you now?
Jaime Hernandez: What inspired us then was we were dumb, and there was no one to tell us not to do it. We grew up on comics, and the older we got, comics were disappointing us. I was like, I don’t want to read these kinds of comics, so I guess I should do my own. So we did subjects that interested us that we were not seeing in comics or even TV or movies. That’s how that kind of got started. We were just saying I’m into this…I’m into that; different things. Basically, I had a forum to do my own stuff.
What inspires me now is that I’m still allowed to do it 35 years later, and I still have stories to tell. I’m happy that I’m can be supported for it. We just re-released “Love and Rockets” in magazine format, and it comes out more often; three times a year.
Gilbert Hernandez: Originally it was because I didn’t want to get a job. I didn’t have any career goals in mind, and I didn’t really see much in the future. I listened to punk rock too much to remind me. So since I had a background drawing comic books as a kid, I decided what the hell; I had nothing else to lose.
What’s kept me going all these years is such a strong fan base and I’m invited to conventions like this that are partly inspired by “Love and Rockets,” because we were there at the era of the modern indie comics. It’s sort of like writing a journal, doing the comics; you do it to keep sane: To keep my thoughts in order and my creativity in check.
Mario Hernandez: What originally got me interested was that we needed an outlet of some kind. We had all this creative energy and nobody had jobs; except for me. We were all janitors, and I became a carpenter. Then I thought, these guys need jobs, so let’s put this comic together and see what happens. It worked out. Total luck and timing.
All these young people, mostly. I live in a bubble where, when you’re an artist, you’re at home drawing all the time. You don’t know what’s going on in the outside with the fans. Unless you get out and meet them. It’s very inspiring that people are thinking oh boy, comics; they’re relevant, and I’m like yes, thank you.