BOOM! Box

BOOM! Box 2016 Mix Tape

Writers: John Allison, Stefan Tosheff, Sammy Borras, James Tynion IV, Shannon Watters, Sam Davies, Sina Grace, Pamela Ribon, Ngozi Ukazu
Artists: John Allison, Stefan Tisheff, Sammy Borras, Rian Sygn, Adam X Vass, Ayme Sotuyo, Sam Davies, Sina Grace, Veronica Fish, Olivia Margraf
Colorist: Eleeza Mei
Letterers: Jim Campbell, Britt Wilson, Jim Campbell
Publisher: BOOM! Studios

A reviewed by Gregory Brothers

2016_boomboxmixtape_cover-213x300I have been a comic book reader for quite a long time. I have lived through the booms and the busts, the positives and the negatives, the popular and the unpopular stages. All that being said, right now we are living in a time that is becoming a true golden age as far as the content and quality of comics that are being put out there on a weekly basis.

The only negative that comes along with this growth in quality is that it makes it hard to find all the great books, writers, and artists that are out there. One of those companies who are really putting out quality books week in and week out is BOOM! Studios. BOOM! seems to know that getting the eyes off of the big two and onto the books coming out of their house is an on going battle and that is where a book like BOOM! Box 2016 Mix Tape comes in.

BOOM! Box 2016 Mix Tape is a series of short stories from many of the franchises including, Giant Days, Backstages, Slam!, Goldie Vance, and Lumberjanes, that fall under the BOOM! Box umbrella. This year it was decided that the book would truly take on the name of the theme of the mix tape and all the stories had a music theme to them.

The first thing that makes a book like this great is that it allows the reader to start to explore some of the characters that they might be overlooking because they don’t know these books exist. While each story features the individual franchises, they are written in a way that even readers that have never picked up those individual books can get great enjoyment out of, and maybe even find a new book that they want to explore.

While the stories are written in a way that someone who does not read these books on a monthly basis can still read them without feeling out of the loop, the stories have enough Easter eggs that long time readers will also get great pleasure out of these stories. Having the regular writers of the books cover their own characters allow for the stories to fit scenarios that they might find themselves in normally and act in ways that are true to their established actions and motives.

While not a normal reader of the series, the Giant Days short story is the one that I found the most enjoyable of all the stories. The premise is very simple in that a Kully finds out that the opening act for his band’s performance has cancelled on them. What makes things worse is that they are suppose to have a talent scout come to watch them that night. Ester decides to do be a good friend and tells Kully that her and the other girls had a band and would be the opening act. Of course, since they do not really have a band they spend the rest of the day trying to find the perfect formula for the perfect song.

The Holiday Cards by Anna Strain, while not a story, are hilarious if not a bit disturbing and would be perfect for anyone who is a bit cynical about the holidays. The short PuzzleFest not only has a fun story about going to a festival type concert but also has puzzles for the reader to solve as they read. Band Badge featuring the Lumberjanes characters finds the campers trying to earn their Band Badge with less than ideal results. Meanwhile Goldie Vance features a Broadway type play based on American History that I would totally go see.

The Verdict
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If you are already a fan of these franchises BOOM! Box Mix Tape 2016 is a fun read that stays true to the characters that you already know. If you are new to these franchises, BOOM! Box Mix Tape 2016 is written in a way that you can still enjoy the stories without feeling as if you are missing anything. All of the stories are unique in the way they are written and the feelings that they invoke vary from reflective to just plain fun. I found myself smiling as I read these stories. The only thing that I did not like about the book was the $9.99 price tag, but for the amount of stories and work that had to go into the book, it did not turn me away from the book totally.

Gregory Brothers
greghbrothers@gmail.com
Greg is a teacher, a life long student of all things pop culture, and an avid sports fan. When not spending time with spending time with family you may find him arguing the finer points of if Magneto was right, or who the best pro athlete is. He can be found on twitter @comicsportsgeek

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