Sometimes I feel like the only reason you are being given to care about the characters in these comics is because other characters do, and the whole thing can feel like being at a party where you are witnessing conversations between people you don’t know as they talk about other people you don’t know, feeling stuck while you wait for a friend to arrive.
Back before I had my Damascene conversion about Jaime’s work, I wrote a scathing review of Locas for The Comics Journal. (Laugh in the face of anyone who ever tells you that publication, online or in print, is a Fantagraphics mouthpiece.) I wrote something very similar, the sense that if you don’t cotton to Maggie and Hopey immediately, there’s something about not just the reception of the work by its fans but about the work itself that feels exclusionary. Really interesting phenomenon, and ultimately I would guess it’s a testament to Jaime’s ability to capture the way scenes and cliques form, and feel.
The title pages are indeed tremendous, too, yeah.