This story is over 5 years old.


We Spoke to Comics Legend Gilbert Hernandez About His New Weekly VICE Strip

If you like comics at all you probably know GIlbert Hernandez, our new weekly comics contributor. If you don't know Gilbert Hernandez than you should fix that.

Today we premiered the first comic in Gilbert Hernandez's ​weekly comic series for VICE. If you like comics at all you probably know GIlbert Hernandez. If you don't know Gilbert Hernandez than you should fix that.

Gilbert is most famous as one half, and occasionally one third, of the famous "Los Bros Hernandez." Along with his brothers Jaime and Mario he created the comic series Love and Rockets, which started in 1981 and has been coming out consistently in different formats for almost 35 years.


The brothers each have their own characters, stories and universes that they explore. Jaime's comics focus on a Mexican-American woman named Maggie who lives In LA. Gilbert's primarily follow a woman named Luba and her life in a remote Mexican village, although his comics have since shifted focus primarily to her relatives.

When the Hernandez Brothers started making comics during the 80s black-and-white boom, the alternative comics scene was incredibly small and now it seems like half of the literary comics floating around are very directly influenced by the work that Gilbert and his brothers did.

Now he's doing comics for us. Here's a little interview I did with him.

VICE: How's it going Gilbert? I really appreciate you doing a comic for VICE's website.
I'm doing good, thanks for asking

Have you done weekly comics before?
I've never done a weekly comic before, but it seems like it'll be a fun challenge.

What made you think of Roy as a good choice for a central character in a recurring strip?
Roy is a character of such flexibility, story-wise, that I can take him anywhere in our mad universe.

Roy has a Spongebob like naivety to him. Do you remember how you came up with Roy? Was he a random drawing that you assigned a personality to or did you need a character like him and design his looks second?
I created Roy's look and personality at the same time. I wanted a hapless nerd that I could put in any comic book situation I could think of, especially ones where he is humiliated to the nth degree.


What do you think Roy's voice sounds like.
​ Roy's voice sounds like ​Butterfly McQueen's.

Isn't Roy usually joined by his bespectacled girlfriend? Was her name Inez?
Her name is Judith, like the baby on The Walking Dead.

Will his priest friend and punk child pal join him again?
Father Sandoval and Lil Punk will return, as well as other previous Roy associates like The Little Stunt Boy, The Sammer Monster, Shout Ramirez, etc.

You have so many characters in your comic that it's hard for me to keep them all straight. Have Father Sandoval and Lil Punk appeared before?
Father Sandoval or the punk kid haven't appeared before officially. I created Father Sandoval as a lame pro wrestler years ago. He still might turn out to be that.

Do you know a lot of smoking priests?
Don't all priests smoke, drink, and shoot up heroin?

Do you know a lot of substance-addicted priests? What was your religious upbringing like?
I was raised Catholic and I didn't know any priests, but the couple of nun teachers I did know were two of the kindest and most considerate adults I've ever met. I didn't go to Catholic school full time, only on weekends, so I don't have any horror stories about nuns or priests.

Is it odd to have grown up when the LA punk scene was fresh and new, and then witness it become an institution?
​ I wasn't aware that the LA punk scene was revered. It was a mess when I was hanging out. The LA punk scene of the late 70s was more of an art/party/drug scene and in the 80s it was more aggressive, dumbed down, and hostile.


Over the past decade there have been a couple books about the LA punk scene. There's We're Desperate and We Got The Neutron Bomb, and probably a bunch of others.
I've little interest in recalling those days now except for when I need research for a story. I don't really care about nostalgia unless it's for building something new from it.

Did you ever have any interactions with Spot, the photographer?
I never met ​Spot, but my wife knows him.

I had just got a copy of a new book of his photos which is why that was on my mind. How did you meet your wife?
I met my wife Carol when The Clash played for the first time in LA, February 1, 1979. I was with my brothers Jaime (Love & Rockets), Ismael (Dr. Know) and our cousin. She knew Carol from high school and introduced us. Carol and I've been together since.

There's something you and Jaime have commented on before in interviews about how people are disappointed by meeting you at cons because they want to meet your characters and you two don't really seem like your characters. Some cartoonists do. Clowes and Crumb. Are there any of your characters that you see as embodying you the most? Are they are all just minor facets of who you are?
I guess a couple of characters that are like me the most, or at least express my attitude are Luba (Killer's grandmother) and Hector (Killer's dad). Few people reading this will know what I'm talking about.

Are you collecting anything lately?
I collect old horror movies on disc because a lot of them are still not available on streaming or YouTube. Horror from the 1960's and 1970's, from Italy or Turkey or India or Indonesia, on and on…

What are you liking in comics right now, either new things or old things?
I buy reprints of old horror comics of the 1950's, and comic strip collections of Dick Tracy and Steve Canyon. A lot of stuff I do get from Fantagraphics when somebody there remembers to send me stuff. I very rarely buy work from contemporary artists because they come off as awfully wimpy and self-important. Some, dare I say, even SUCK.

Is there any chance of seeing your other characters show up in this strip?
​ Probably, like the ones I mentioned earlier.

Follow Nick Gazin on ​Twitter.