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After ten years spent in Palomar and the fantasy worlds of BEM and Errata Stigmata, Gilbert Hernandez brought it all back home with this sharp contemporary tale. This story, which ran under the simple title "Love and Rockets" in Love & Rockets from 1990 to 1992, takes us from plush Beverly Hills to the dangerous East side and introduces us to a dizzyingly diverse cast of characters, including a lowlife rock 'n' roll band, a "posse" of black youths, a ditzy Hollywood mom and her spoiled son, a gay activist filmmaker and his rebellious, half-Iraqi daughter, and a group of racist thugs whose violent attack on an older woman sets the plot in motion — as well as bringing in several older characters, including Palomar expatriates (and lovers) Riri and Maricela, the surfers from Blood of Palomar, and some special surprise guests from Birdland. Love and Rockets X does for contemporary Los Angeles what Robert Altman's Nashville did for that metropolis in the '70s — it's a superbly observed portrait of a city in decline, a character study of over 20 men and women, girls and boys; it's a comedy and a drama; it's in short, Gilbert Hernandez at his very best!