Hi-Fi Fight Club #1
Hi-Fi Fight Club is Lumberjanes meets Empire Records with a strong overlay of first girl crush and a sprinkling of Scooby-Doo. (The series was renamed Heavy Vinyl after the first issue and for the collection.)
It’s 1998 New Jersey, and 16-year-old Chris has her first job at the record store Vinyl Mayhem. She’s uncertain and worried about what’s cool, but since everyone she works with falls in that category, she’s loving the situation. Maggie is cute and friendly; Dolores tough and grumpy; Kennedy, older and knowledgeable with savior faire; and Irene is the boss at 24.
They’re setting up for a band appearance, but various groups in the area have been vanishing. That’s why Chris gets invited to join her co-workers’ “secret teen girl vigilante fight club”, and they’re going to solve the mystery.
As written by Carly Usdin, the voices are authentically young and full of potential. What kept me going while getting to the revelation of the premise, though, was the attractive, energetic art — pencils by Nina Vakueva, inks by Irene Flores. The figures are gorgeously delineated with distinctive attitudes.
As someone who remembers how great record stores were as gathering places for finding new, perfect soundtracks to life, I am thrilled that this series captures those memories so well. I didn’t really need the girl gang aspect; I was happy just reading about which bands which woman liked. But don’t think this is appealing just to fogey readers; I imagine younger people will enjoy the idea of a secret group of girls who love music and train each other to fight the patriarchy.
Issue #2 goes into more about the group’s history and the mystery they’re facing, made personal by Chris’ conflict with Dolores and an adorable diner scene with Maggie. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)