Heavy Vinyl appears to have gone through some adjustments over its publication. Its title was originally Hi-Fi Fight Club and then for some reason they changed the name of the record store it is set in from Vinyl Mayhem to Vinyl Destination. Both changes are better, but many of the web descriptions of the comics have the old names so that’s confusing.
Anyhow, spoiler alert: it’s about a fight-club in a record store! Sort of. I haven’t read or seen Fight Club, but this seems to be more of a vigilante group than the Fight Club of Palahniuk (and later, 30 Rock) fame. Set in the 90s, it focuses on main character Chris, 16 years old, styled like Kristy Thomas, gay like Kristy Thomas (we all know the truth), but much less confident, has landed a dream job at Vinyl Destination, working alongside teens and young women she admires, and one she REALLY admires, her crush Maggie. She only wants to fit in, but for some reason the other employees have after-work meetings that she is not invited to take part in. She figures they have an amazing band and she can’t join as the baby of the group. But it turns out their meetings are to brush up on their mad fight skills, because after hours, the girls fight specifically band-related crime! Chris is quickly welcomed into the fold, quickly learns how to hold her own, accelerated when the girls’ favorite singer Rosie Riot goes missing. The mystery is mostly realistic but does veer into some lite sci-fi as the gals unfold the clues.
If you come to this comic for the mystery or intense character building, you will likely be disappointed. It’s pretty shallow and maybe a little silly. Maybe a lot silly. But if you come for a light read, queer characters, 90s nostalgia, and perky, expressive art, you will enjoy yourself. Not sure I am compelled to keep reading it, but I’ll definitely keep purchasing it for my teen room at the library, as I think a lot of them would enjoy it.