90s themed ladies in a secret fight club? WICKED!
Heavy Vinyl centers around Chris, a starry-eyed 16 year old who has just started a new job at the local record store and is desperately crushing on her co worker, Maggie. On top of that EVERYONE is works with is hella cool, from Irene, her boss, to Kennedy, the music genius and Dolores, the goth queen who is antagonistic to Chris. All Chris wants is to fit it and learn everything she can from the awesome, music loving women she works with, and maybe to start a band one day. The employees at Vinyl Mayhem are proud feminists and also fans of the female rock singer, Rosie Riot. When Rosie vanishes mysteriously the night before she’s supposed to play a gig at the store, Chris’ co-workers let her in on a massive secret; the record store is a front for their badass secret fight club!
This graphic novel pretty much contains everything I love. A ethnically diverse cast of characters? Check! Characters with sexuality aside from straight? Multiple! Smart, confident women who stand up for themselves when faced with adversity? Damn Straight! A playlist of awesome songs from the 90s? Got it! A Buffy the Vampire Slayer reference? Oh you know it’s there!
The characters in this are all relateable and fun, and it would be easy for women reading this to identify with at least one of them. I really loved the art style here as it reflected the time period perfectly, from the colors used overall to the fashion that was specific to each girl. It felt very personalized, like the author and artist absolutely worked to define the character as an archetype 90s girl and build their look around their personality.
The story was cute. Light and fun with just enough punch to keep me interested. I think this would be an awesome recommendation for a teen or college aged girl, I absolutely would have dug this when I was 18. It’s a quick read, full of fun, diverse characters that blend into the story seamlessly. Nothing feels like it’s forced diversity or taking advantage of a trend. These are real characters who have different personalities and backstories, and I can’t wait to pick up the next volume when its available.
Title: Heavy Vinyl
Author: Carly Usdin
Three Descriptors: Upbeat, Quirky, LGBTQ+, Charming
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