Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Abraham, Jok & Gervasio
Mixtape has been a wonderful indie comic since its debut. The basic premise is that the book is set in the early 90s and takes a look at some of the drama that high school kids deal with on a day to day basis. This particular issue deals with one of the exceptions to the normal high school drama as it deals with a student dying. The comic takes each of the cast of characters down their own path of mourning the student, as they express their feelings and memories of the one that died. It’s a powerful comic book to say the least.
As many people have experienced, tragedy at this young an age can bring out the best and worst in people. It’s a confusing time and many kids look for things to return to normal, sometimes as the expense of properly mourning or even appearing as simply unsympathetic to the deceased’s friends and family. This is covered to perfection in this book as some of the main cast can’t muster much energy for the dead classmate. It definitely drifts towards insensitive.
As the comic progresses and the band of friends begin to talk this through, the comic launches into a series of flashbacks as each kid has had some interaction with the deceased classmate. The flashbacks cover a wide range of time periods and interactions and all of them are powerful to some degree. The best one is at the end as the comic finishes on a very emotional note.
The book is terrific in its set up and execution as Abraham presents the story and brings the reader down the mindsets of each character. The story is not alone in this perfect comic book.
The comic book is presented in glorious black and white. The story’s power is not lost by the lack of color as the pencils and sharp line work capture the emotions extremely well. One of the better aspects of the artwork is how the flashbacks are handled. They help to bring the reader further back in time and they work to keep the right feeling for the spirit of the story within the story. The artwork presents a fantastic visual story.
This comic book is something special. There is no question that those that grew up during this time period will find something to relate to, but some of the themes transcend time and offer something for any reader. The comic also includes a play list in the back for the first five issues, which just enhances the overall reading experience. There are several places where you can find this book, such as iTunes (bit.ly/1fzcwj3) for digital copies or indyplanet.com or bradabraham.com for a hard copy. Track down a copy and give the book a try. You won’t regret it.
5 out of 5 Geek Goggles