Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Published by Brad Abraham
Abraham, Jok & Gervasio
The fourth issue of Mixtape is once again a fantastic comic book that plunges the reader into situations that if they can't relate to on a personal level, can probably relate through the eyes of a relative or friend. This issue focuses on one character's return home to a high school and a town that seems to been transformed while she was abroad. This is a bit of a coming of age story that parallels any number of experiences that people have in real life as they grow up. Abraham continues to amaze with this title and I can only hope future issues continue to live up this high standard that the first four issues have set. I highly recommend tracking this comic book down. The book can be purchased at Indy Planet or in person at Abraham's artist's table at the NYCC.
The lead character, Siobhan, returns home and finds that she's out of place at home and in school. It's not that she's completely changed or that her family or friends have changed its more that she's grown a little bit in a different direction, as have all the others. This gap takes time for the characters to feel through and learn from each other but not everyone is willing to apply the effort and patience.
Siobhan's primary heartache relates to her sister, Kerrin, and her apparent rebellion. Kerrin was the gold standard of the family and in the short time of Siobhan's absence her sister has taken towards a path that their parents don't want Siobhan to follow. The pair tries to fight through the changes to find the underlying love for one another that surely is still there.
Siobhan has a slower transformation with her friends. At first, things seem fairly normal but as the days turn more and more mundane, Siobhan realizes she longs for simpler relationships rather than complex ones that rely heavily on high school politics.
Siobhan's time abroad may have provided some enlightenment about what truly makes her happy. Or perhaps just simply being removed from the equation and the plunged back in made her see things from a different light. I would argue that Siobhan learns in this book that you can make happiness through the smallest of changes and that the company you keep isn't something you can never change. To become so self-aware that life is what you make of it as such an early age is a great characteristic if you can capture it as she seems to have done.
The artwork is fantastic again. The book is in black and white and this helps to keep the pencils crisp and detailed. The book has a lot of emotions and the artwork is equal to the array that the story presents. Overall, this book captures the mood of the story perfectly,
Mixtape #4 provides a terrific self-enclosed story. Sure, it uses some characters and references from previous issues but for the most part this comic book is an enjoyable read all by itself. While not everyone can relate to the coming back from abroad scenario I think everyone can identify with friendships that drift or siblings that leave you behind as they grow. It's a great book and one that takes you on a seemingly sad and lonely tale that provides a new light at the end. What a great book.
4.5 out of 5 Geek Goggles