FRIDAY & SATURDAY

In Love and Rockets’ most perfect of comic-book universes, Betty and Veronica have mohawks, leather jackets, and big butts. They are named Maggie and Hopey, and they live in the barrio, hurl bottles at Black Flag shows, and make out with each other. Their love is epic and flawed and involves Mexican wrestlers and space travel. Here, God is spelled by creator Jaime Hernandez and his brother/partner, Gilbert Hernandez (who adds some Gabriel Garcia Marquez to the Dan DeCarlo-meets-Legs McNeil mix with his own intertwining cast of big-breasted characters). Around 20 years after L&R first appeared, los Brothers Hernandez (Gilbert’s work is pictured) are still publishing serials related to the story. But T&A aside, the enduring appeal of—and resurgence of interest in—comics lies in the medium’s accessibility. Art Spiegelman’s Maus, a Holocaust chronicle played out with cats and mice, won a Pulitzer in 1992, and Chris Ware’s painfully detailed Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth was included in this year’s Whitney Biennial. Those little comic-strip boxes can also serve as readymade storyboards: Recent films Ghost World, From Hell, and Road to Perdition all originated from graphic novels. And where better to pick up all that culture—and magazines about nymphomaniac fairies—but a comic convention? Spiegelman and the Hernandez brothers will appear at the SPX 2002, along with (among others) Frank Miller (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns) and Charles Burns (Black Hole). Try to play it cool around the comic chicks when SPX hits town from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6; and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at the Holiday Inn, 8120 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda. $7 for one day, $12 for both (proceeds benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund). (703) 508-7332. (Shauna Miller)