Heavy Vinyl #4
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Writer: Carly Usdin
Penciller: Nina Vakueva
Inker: Irene Flores
Colorist: Rebecca Nalty
Letterer:  Jim Campbell
Review by Anelise Farris

Heavy Vinyl #4 is the conclusion to the formerly named Hi-Fi Fight Club. In short, “fight club” was too close to Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, and the team didn’t want to risk confusing readers or veering too close to Palahniuk’s territory. This is exciting news because to change the name on the last issue makes me think that this will not actually be the end of Chris and the Vinyl Mayhem crew. Business aside, let’s dive into the story!

Heavy Vinyl #4 opens up by zooming in on each of the main characters. We observe their morning routines and their interactions with their loves ones. Off to find Rosie, with no idea of the danger that may befall them, there is a palpable tension akin to soldiers going off to war. Here, there is a terrific attention to detail that helps to infuse these scenes with emotion, and the unique panel shapes prevent the comic from feeling too static or heavy.

When Chris and the gang find Rosie (thanks to Chris’s smart detective work in the previous issue), they discover that there is a whole lot more to the music mystery than they thought. This revelation, in addition to Chris’s rallying speech about the importance of individuality and freedom of expression, makes me think that the team behind Heavy Vinyl has a whole lot more stories to tell.

As with previous issues, in Heavy Vinyl #4 Chris is so obvious and awkward and wonderful, and the humor is so well-executed with the art and dialogue marrying perfectly. The budding romance between Chris and Mags progresses in a slow, sweet way that manages to capture the excitement of young love. And, the westernized manga style excels in depicting the emotionally-charged teenage experience.

Verdict: Buy it!

A smart, coming-of-age story with kickass girls and good music at its core, Heavy Vinyl is a great read for all ages.

Anelise Farris
Anelise is an english professor with a love for old buildings, dusty tomes, black turtlenecks, and all things macabre and odd.

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