Los Bros Hernandez (Gilbert, Jaime, and Mario) have been a force in the world of comix ever since they began publishing Love and Rockets, their seemingly endless trove of stories inspired by the Chicano punk scene in and around Oxnard, California (or “Huerta”) in 1981. Love and Rockets has long been a key touchstone for the SoCal punk scene, even inspiring the Bauhaus offshoot way off in England to appropriate the comic’s name.
Gilbert and Jaime were the most prolific of the siblings. Both of them were into the punk scene, but Jaime was more into it, and he also stuck with the scene longer. In an interview with Chris Knowles, Jaime credited the DIY ethos of punk with inspiring their own decision to self-publish:
In the beginning, we didn’t know what kind of audience we would have, or if we would have an audience. At the same time, we were like, “Well, fuck it, we’re going to do it anyway. We knew this was good. We know these stories are worth telling. So, we’ll get there without your help.” I was cocky enough to pull it off! You know, the whole punk do-it-yourself thing was also because it helped me grow up a lot. I mean, it wasn’t just the music scene, it was just… I just saw the world in a big scope for the first time, and I was 18 to 21, those years, so it was just very eye-opening, and I’m glad it happened at that point.
However, Jaime eventually got disillusioned by the inevitable conformity that hit the punk scene: “I’d be watching a band, and all of a sudden, I’d be pushed from behind, and I’d look, and there’d be this wall of guys, just because I wasn’t wearing the same boots they were wearing. That’s when it just wasn’t fun anymore, you had to watch your back!”