Created and written by: Carly Usdin
Pencils: Nina Vakueva
Inks: Irene Flores
Colors: Rebecca Nalty
Letters: Jim Campbell
Going into a new comic with no knowledge of or previous experience with the creative team can feel a bit daunting at times. With Hi-Fi Fight Club, I was willing to take that chance because the premise just sounded like a fun read. As a big music nerd, it felt like something that would be right up my alley. I haven’t read too many comics in general from Boom! Studios either, so this was a good opportunity to branch out to something outside of Marvel and DC. And it was a good call.
Hi-Fi Fight Club #1 is everything I hoped for. It takes place in 1998 at the neighborhood record store. With those being few and far between these days, it’s nice to see it as a focal point in a comic book. Right away, we’re introduced to Chris, one of the girls working at the shop. After a quick run in with Maggie, we’re introduced to Dolores, Kennedy, and Irene, the other ladies at the shop. Irene is in charge and you have a good group of various music lovers. Each has their own style and while it might be a little cliché, it’s nice to not have a group of ladies who all look the same.
There’s a nice balance in this comic of it’s focus on music and it’s focus on the characters. Not to mention, there’s a queer element that adds to the diversity of the comic. It’s not every day that you get a comic full of women and this one is handled extremely well. None of the characters make it feel like the diversity is being forced. It fits perfectly with the story that Carly Usdin tells and it’s not flaunted as some sort of big deal.
Vakueva, Flores, and Nalty team up for an excellent artistic effort. The color tones used throughout work well and it gives sort of a nostalgic feel. Record stores in 1998 probably had a much different feel than they do now and while I’ve started going to them more recently, none have quite had the feel that this comic gives off. Sure, some still do in store performances, but most only have one or two employees these days. Plus, the twist at the end shows us that this record store is quite a bit more than that.
Overall, this is a comic I enjoyed a ton. It’s a nice, easy read and you don’t have to worry about there being a dense story to try following along with. As it turns out, not being familiar with the creative team didn’t matter one bit.
Verdict: Buy. I think everyone should at least give this comic a shot. However, I would heavily recommend it for all music lovers. Boom! Studios has a great new title on their hands with this one.