HI-FI FIGHT CLUB #1
Written by Carly Usdin
Art by Nina Vakueva, Irene Flores, Rebecca Nalty, and Jim Campbell
Published by BOOM! Studios
Release Date: August 23, 2017
The first (and only) rule if Hi-Fi Fight Club is: you should definitely read this comic.
I have been overall impressed with the BOOM! Box line of comics. BOOM! is making a strong effort to fill in a gap in the comics industry. There are teens and tweens everywhere who want to be into comics ,but adult books are too dark or inappropriate, and reading kid books isn’t cool.
Hi-Fi Fight Club does an amazing job bridging that adolescent gap, but even a “cool adult” like me can enjoy the quirky style. This is really an all-ages book, and it should be an all-people who read comics book.
What I’m saying is: please read this comic. It will make you smile so, so much.
Chris is a teenage girl trying to navigate life, feelings, relationships, and her brand new job at the coolest record store in town. Seeing an all-female staff in a niche industry shop is so uncommon in media. The diversity of the team is refreshing and realistic, and opens the book up for all manner of readers to see their feelings and selves reflected in the narrative.
It is especially pleasant to see these young women supporting each other, standing up for themselves, and just generally kicking ass (figuratively and literally!) Like Lumberjanes and Backstagers, this is an awesome book about friendship, life, and learning lessons— with a few secrets under the surface.
This comic has some of my favorite things. It has a diverse cast of characters who show their own personality, development, and initiative. It shows young women developing positive friendships, and working together. It has an adorable budding romance and all the feelings that go with it. It has a cool setting, a rad band, and a lot of fun music and pop culture references. And, a new addition to my list of favorite things: a girl gang fight club of cute vigilante teens.
This books made me laugh, but I also shed some tears. It is not often that a book comes around that speaks so directly to the experience of teen girls in a positive, supportive, and understanding way. These girls are building friendships, banding together, and supporting each other in ways the world often values very little.
This is the kind of book I would have loved to read when I was young. If this had been my formative comic series, I probably would have been cool much sooner. It is also the comic I want to read now, as a cool adult working in the comics industry. Dealing with life, relationships, and big choices feels much the same now as it did at 17. Seeing this kind of media in the world is comforting and sweet.
The art is perfect for this book. I could not imagine anyone more suited to the job than Nina Vakueva, Irene Flores, and Rebecca Nalty. The combination of light, detailed artwork and a vintage-inspired color palette set the stage for a fun and exciting comic. Everyone has a distinct style that is not sacrificed even in the smallest panels. The record store is unique and realistic, and the small details have me wishing it was a real place.
There is a lot of character interaction, but the use of open space and body language in the art helps the panels feel balanced. Jim Campbell, on letters, has a lot to work with as well. This issue is dialogue-heavy and features an ever-growing cast of important characters, but the conversations are easy to follow. I can’t say it enough: this art is perfect.
This introductory issue was fairly light. There was a lot of exposition and character introductions, but quippy captions and a quickly-developing plot keep everything running along smoothly. With the secrets and mysteries divulged in this issue, I suspect that the second installment will be more action-heavy.
It seems like this creative team (a pretty sweet club of their own) will be able to maintain the relationships and plot twists set up in this issue, and balance it with a little more action. I have nothing but the highest expectations for this series, and no doubt that it will only get better from here.
(Please read this comic.)
The Verdict: 10/10