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Review: Hi Fi Society #1
Nikki  |  August 27, 2017

Written by Carly Usdin

Pencils by Nina Vakueva

Inks by Irene Flores

Colours by Rebecca Nalty

Letters by Jim Campbell

Published by Boom! Studios (Boom! Box)

Comics have largely been an escape, a fantasy for its audience. Superman, Batman… something for every little boy or man to look up to but there’s been an influx of female characters that speak to their audience in a different way. Boom Studios! and their various imprints have worked to bring an audience a variety of different female characters, all with different body types, nationalities, and personalities. There’s not one or two types in a sea of male characters. In fact, in Boom Studios! books they often make up the entire cast. Hi Fi Fight Club #1 is another addition to Boom’s celebration of multi-faceted women, blending the action of fight club with the fun of Empire Records.

Set in 1998 in the suburbs of New Jersey, newbie Chris is still getting used to working at the coolest place ever: Vinyl Mayhem. Chris is clumsy, smitten, and cool in the fact that she isn’t cool at all. A young gay that will be relatable to queer women everywhere. As somebody who still feels like the rookie at the Silver Snail, Chris’ view that she still isn’t as cool as the rest of the crew at Vinyl Mayhem reminded me of my first few months here. Writer Carly Usdin uses Chris’ narrative perspective to take us through roll call. There’s the antagonistic Dolores, Maggie (who is the cutest), musical encyclopedia Kennedy, and Irene ( the cool adult). Although “fight club” is in the title, we don’t see any action in this issue, Usdin choosing instead to flesh out Chris’ world. It might seem slow but while reading it, I totally forgot that it was called Hi Fi Fight Club and just thought this would be about a cool crew of women working at a record store. The fact that it’s this normal situation that happens to have that hint of a different genre, makes it all the more exciting. More importantly, this book was just so light and fun that it made me grin like a fool the whole time I was reading it.

Nina Vakueva’s art follows the Boom! Studios trend of clean lines and fun animated designs for their female-led titles. Vakueva’s style reminds me of a mix between western influenced manga and webcomics art. It’s funny but sometimes the interior art reminded me of that old Teletoon cartoon Totally Spies. The added nostalgia feel really endeared me to the comic straightaway. The character designs are really fun too. The nineties era had a very specific style that really sets it apart but in this first issue, it was kind of secondary because the designs for clothes are a little more subtle. There was a timeless feeling to it but when I remembered that this is set in 1998, the overalls and the chokers made sense. The art with Irene Flores on inks and Rebecca Nalty on colours made this a beautifully bright and animated book.

Only one issue in and I’m addicted, invested, and ready for more adventures with Chris and her crew at Vinyl Mayhem.

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