Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Abraham, Gervasio & Jok
The second issue of Mixtape is a much smaller character focus than the first issue that shipped earlier this year. The first issue introduced readers to the five key high school aged characters, specifically Jim Abbot, and it was sort of a missed love opportunities type of a story. It was a very powerful issue for those that have always guessed wrong when it comes to love and looking past what was right in front of your face for the prospect of what might be. Obviously, the background is about the music and how so many of us sort of have this soundtrack playing in our heads as we go through life, especially during those crucial development years. This issue is centered on Lorelei and her internship at a local radio station. The book took a little while to develop but by the book's end I found this issue to be nearly as powerfully relatable as the first. I definitely recommend tracking this book down.
The comic book begins with Lorelei starting her internship at the radio station. She's tasked with cleaning up boxes of junk. Eventually she realizes that the radio station has many recordings that they never play anymore because they aren't part of the station's current format. Lorelei makes the critical mistake of telling some of her friends at high school the treasure trove of music she found buried in store closets.
Before long Lorelei finds herself taking requests from friends to make copies of many of the recordings. She gets in over her head in an attempt to please too many people at the same time. While not necessarily seeking popularity through these actions, she does find a sense of satisfaction from being the center of attention and being needed by so many people, friends and acquaintances alike. Eventually things don't turn out as planned.
The book has a very slow build up. At first I was sort of saying to myself, "where's Jim?" but eventually I got sucked into the dilemma that Lorelei got herself into. All the while you can't help but think, "don't do it" but ultimately she does. The book also has a good cast of supporting characters, some are new, such as Tony Graves, a deejay. The book has a great deal of tension towards the end that helps the book drive to a great conclusion.
The artwork is fabulously detailed in amazing black and white. Not normally a fan of black and white I have to admit I am seeing such an advantage in the details by keeping it black and white. The power of the artwork is showing the roller coaster of emotions that Lorelei is taken on as the issue progresses. I think the best sequence in the book is showing Lorelei manage all of her requests scattered around her bedroom floor with a slight smile on her face. It's a gorgeous book to go along with a great story.
This comic book is slated to be released, according to many online stores, on October 31, but I'm sure it can be pre-ordered. It's not always easy to follow a book that doesn't ship with a regular schedule but with issue three hot on the heels of this issue it seems like this series is about to get shipping traction to go along with its excellent storytelling. Regardless if you have ever mixed a tape before or even heard of a mixed tape before this book is relatable because it taps into the peer pressure element that is evident in so many people's lives. It's a well-constructed book that provides a great build up to a great ending. Pick this book up and see for yourself.
4.5 out of 5 geek goggles