Review: Hi Fi Fight Club #1

Darryll Robson Darryll Robson
Expert Contributor
September 2nd, 2017

Lifetime reader of comics and fan of Planet of the Apes. When the two combine I can barely contain myself. Image, Boom and Titan comics fight for shelf space with Doctor Who DVDs.

Review: Hi Fi Fight Club #1
Comics
0

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On September 2, 2017
Last modified:September 2, 2017

Summary:

A solid start to a new comic for the teen market. Strong pacing from the get go. Brimming with humor and adorable characters.


Reviewed by:
Rating:

4
On September 2, 2017
Last modified:September 2, 2017

Summary:

A solid start to a new comic for the teen market. Strong pacing from the get go. Brimming with humor and adorable characters.

MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB

Boom Box’s new teenage title Hi Fi Fight Club is out this week and ComiConverse contributor, Darryll Robson, takes a look inside.

The teenage comic audience is growing and publishers are catering more and more for that age group. Boom! Studios’ imprint Boom! Box already have a number of teenage titles such as Lumberjanes and Giant Days. This week they add another to their roster: Hi Fi Fight Club.

This comic features a group of young women and is set in New Jersey in the late 90’s. The central character, Chris, is about to discover that getting her dream job at the local record shop is just the start of her adventures.

Hi Fi Fight Club

Credit: Boom! Studios

Synopsis

New Jersey, 1998.

Chris is late for work.

Story continues below

Chris is almost 17 and has been working at Vinyl Mayhem, the local record store, for about a month. It is her dream job and she loves everything about it, especially Maggie, another employee. While running, desperate to make up time, she literally falls into Maggies’ arms. Together they make their way to the store.

Once there Chris’ narration introduces the reader to the keys players at Vinyl Mayhem. There is Dolores, moody goth; Maggie who likes everything; Kennedy, the music nerd; Irene, the shop owner and ‘very cool adult’. Together they deal with the customers and basic running of the store. At closing time Chris is sent home despite her eagerness to stay and help clean up. This is something that happens a lot: the rest of the team stay behind after she has left.

The next day all hands are on deck preparing for a live performance by the band Stegosour, but when the band turns up, tragedy has struck; the lead singer Rosie has gone missing. The event is cancelled, the store closed and Chris is about to find out what the rest of the team do after hours.

Did someone say “Secret Teen Girl Vigilante Fight Club”?

Analysis

Written by Carly Usdin, director of the movie Suicidal Kale, Hi Fi Fight Club has a strong cast of 90’s archetypes waiting to be explored. In this first issue the reader is introduced to the staff at Vinyl Mayhem and, through the new employee’s eyes, their basic characteristics. However, even within this first issue these characters are beginning to grow. Chris is the focus and the reader’s way into the team. It is her impressions of the other characters that we get to see and as such the characters occasionally feel pigeonholed. For example, Dolores is rude to Chris and styles herself a ‘nemesis’ so naturally Chris sees her as a moody Goth and that is how she is portrayed on the page with little else going on. Maggie is the centre of Chris’ affections and therefore she is pristine and can do no wrong.

The relationships between the characters are natural and comforting. There is a bond between the girls that is evident and strong. Usdin has created a safe environment for her characters, a place where everyone is looking out for each other. This is important for a comic aimed at a teenage reader because most teenagers are looking for such a place and this affirmation that these places exist is a pleasant touch. Especially as the comic progresses and the situations the girls face in their vigilante excursions will no doubt put them in danger; the record store will provide a much needed place of protection.

The pacing of this first issue is also spot on. The reader is quickly introduced to the protagonist and taken on a tour of the other characters. The narration on the first few pages is a little blunt, cropped even, but once you get used to this style it fits well with Chris’ character, who is telling the story.

Hi Fi Fight Club

Credit: Boom! Studios

Nina Vakueva’s pencils are neat and simple with Irene Flores’ inked lines fine and precise. There is plenty of movement in the panels and the art work is energetic enough to carry the story. Quick cut transitions from one panel to another highlight the important elements of Chris’ life, such as her CD player, adding depth which is easy to follow. In fact, the artwork in general has a simplicity and subtlety that makes this comic enjoyable to read, whether you are a seasoned comic reader or brand new to the medium. Cheeky nods to established products, such as the Uncanny Ex-Men, are gags which most comic cans will enjoy, but their inclusion does not hamper the flow of the narrative. This isn’t like the recent Bill and Ted spin off where emphasis is placed on having inside knowledge. This comic is for everyone to enjoy.

If there is any fault with this issue it’s the way that the central mystery is introduced, and the reactions of those involved. The band’s singer has gone missing and the other band members know that the situation is unusual. They are worried about her. However, no-one seems to want to call the police or do any initial checks for her whereabouts; it’s straight to vigilante/secret ninja mode. This is a minor quibble and can probably be explained away fairly easily.

Story continues below

Between them, the creators have produced an entertaining comic with an endearing central character. The steady narrative build-up allows the reader to become accustomed to the cast and setting before the almost whimsical introduction to the mystery/vigilante aspect of the story.

Hi Fi Fight Club is not a comic that will appeal to everyone. The tights and capes crowd might not be on board, but it will hit home with its intended audience. It is a fascinating concept told has real charm.

Darryll Robson is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Occasionally he remembers his Twitter account: @DarryllRobson

Hi Fi Fight Club #1

  • 4
A solid start to a new comic for the teen market. Strong pacing from the get go. Brimming with humor and adorable characters.

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