Here’s a confession: On my first read through of Mix Tape, I figured I was too punk rock to write a nice review. Mix Tape is a high school nostalgia and coming of age piece set in 1990 and the characters and their angsty teenage situations are framed by the alternative music of the time – which wasn’t nearly alternative enough for me at the time. While author Brad Abraham was apparently brooding to Sonic Youth and Joy Division, I was tracking down Hasil Adkins records because of my new found love for The Cramps (I see your esoteric tastes and raise you to obscure!).
But… Y’know…. that ain’t cool. So I gave Mix Tape a couple more reads.
The art provided by Gervasio and Jojk, of Argentina’s Haus Estudio, pulled me back in. It’s good stuff. Detailed without being busy. The characters are drawn to convey emotion without being cartoonish. The style is reminds me of the style that guys like Claudio Villa used in the Italian Bonelli books. Mixed Tape is dialogue heavy and the does a good job of keeping flow. And that’s tough!
The overarching motif of the book, that a group of friends is more or less analogous to a well-made mix tape, is a solid one. That theme is aided by most of the characters being introduced along with their favorite bands. Its a cute character exposition trick, giving the reader who has been there and done that a reference point. “Oh, she’s like that girl I knew in High School who was really into The Smiths and The Cure.”
Abraham has a screen-n-zine background as an author that aids him in spinning his Quadrophenia-esque yarn like, well,… Quadrophenia without so many pills, or Mod Vs. Rocker riots, but with the same amount of brooding and head smacking “Jesus, were we really such douchebags?” hindsight as Pete Townshend’s opus.
All in all, I’d say this is a good read for anyone who misses those troubled days of yore.
Mix Tape #1 is available for purchase through an array of retailers including itunes, details here: www.facebook.com/MixtapeComic