BOOM! BOX MIXTAPE SC is a colorful collection of shorts featuring Boom! Studios' best series. With upbeat shorts from old favorites, and new comics that show the skill of Boom!'s best creators, MIXTAPE is fun for all.
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Fun for All

What’s better than one Boom! Box comic? How about 35? The annual Boom! Studios compilation is back with the 2017 BOOM! BOX MIXTAPE SC. The collection is full of shorts from Boom! Studios’ old faithfuls and new creators. From SLAM! to GOLDIE VANCE, MIXTAPE has something for die-hard fans and newcomers alike.

Image courtesy of Boom! Studios (artwork by Shannon Watters and Kendra Wells).

But don’t be afraid of the numbers. When you get to the end of the MIXTAPE, you’ll be ready for more. The shorts are largely light-hearted. They are, well, short but sweet. As a result, these stories give creators the chance to think outside the box.

Moreover, the MIXTAPE does not shy away from Boom!’s emphasis on diversity and LGBTQ+ representation. The comics focus on these characters in positive and fun contexts. One LUMBERJANES comic highlights the budding romance between Molly and Mal. Another short, “CHANGE OF TUNE,” features Goldie Vance on a real date. In BOOM! BOX MIXTAPE SC, creators have fun with their favorite characters and create inclusive comics all at once.

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The 2017 MIXTAPE is bold and colorful. Boom! Studios offers many of the sweetest comics out there. For example, characters from POWER UP!, LUMBERJANES, and HELP US! GREAT WARRIOR make appearances. But the adorable world of BOOM! MIXTAPE contains many unique characters. 

Image courtesy of Boom! Studios (artwork by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell).

One of the best comics in the 2017 collection is “NARWHAL JANITOR.” This story, from LUMBERJANES/GOTHAM ACADEMY‘s Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, is bubblegum pink and just as sweet. “NARWHAL JANITOR” is exactly what it sounds like: a narwhal is the janitor at a high school. When a few kids put him down, others help him out. Like many of the LUMBERJANES comics, “NARWHAL JANITOR” is about kindness, wrapped up in an absurdly cute comic.

Similarly, the MIXTAPE features several stand-alone comics. One such comic is “MISUNDERSTOOD HAUNTED HOUSE” by Shannon Watters and Kendra Wells. It has a second part too, called “THE RETURN OF MISUNDERSTOOD HAUNTED HOUSE” (Kelly Thompson, Savanna Ganucheau, and Jim Campbell). In these two, a haunted house just wants some friends. Although the haunted house is scary, in the end it makes friends with a group of teenagers. 

Image courtesy of Boom! Studios (artwork by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell).

Not every comic is as warm and fuzzy, however. The MIXTAPE includes a few CYANIDE AND HAPPINESS comics by Kris Wilson, Rob DenBleyker, and Dave McElfatric. These shorts offer dark humor to balance things out. Likewise, THE “PORT-A-POTTY ON REMINGTON LANE” by Stefan Toscheff is about a man-eating outhouse. While slightly absurd, Toscheff’s art is pretty morbid.

Brilliant Sampling

BOOM! MIXTAPE SC serves as a solid introduction to Boom! Studios. The MIXTAPE’s comics are well organized. Although each artist has their own unique style, the artwork still feels consistent. Often large eyes and mouths make for adorable characters. Additionally, bright colors feature in many of the comics. As a result, the collection is a wonderful way to get to know many of Boom! Studio’s current series. For example, even those who have never read John Allison’s GIANT DAYS will still enjoy his three college student heroines. In “FRIDGE RAIDER” and “MUSIC IS IMPORTANT,” the GIANT DAYS trio get up to relatable college antics. They deal with stolen food from their dorm’s fridge and how to form a last-minute band.

Image courtesy of Boom! Studios (artwork by John Allison).

The MIXTAPE might also inspire further reading. For instance, THE MIDAS FLESH short “PAZ & RICHARD” by Ryan North is silly but fascinating. Moreover, Braden Lamb’s dinosaurs are hilarious. Consequently, the short will get readers interested in the series, where they’ll find a whole world of sci-fi excitement.  

Image courtesy of Boom! Studios (written by Ryan North with art by Braden Lamb).

Although it is not necessary to be familiar with each comic, a few require some basic knowledge of the series. For the MUNCHKIN shorts by JOHN KOVALIC, readers may need to have played the game to get some of the jokes. Additionally, “FRESH MEAT,” a short from Pamela Ribon and Veronica Fish’s SLAM!, is more enjoyable if you know the characters. Nevertheless, each short is fun on its own.

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Rock & Roll at Boom! Studios

Music is a topic in many of the BOOM! BOX MIXTAPE SC shorts. Shannon Watters even writes a mixtape-themed LUMBERJANES story, “MIXING IT UP.” “TOUR LIFE” (Stefan Toscheff) and “THE PITS” (James Tynion IV, Ryan Sygh, Jim Campbell) also explore music. Typically, Boom! Studios tends to feature younger characters who eagerly explore their surroundings. In the new MIXTAPE, many of these characters explore music. Diverse in race and gender, these kids have contagious enthusiasm for the world. As a result, young readers may connect with the heroes in BOOM! BOX MIXTAPE SC. This is especially true for younger readers looking for LGBTQ+ characters.

Image courtesy of Boom! Studios (artwork by Eryk Donovan).

The musical theme brings a degree of self-awareness to many of the comics. The POWER UP short “MUSICAL KNIGHTS” (Kate Leth, Matt Cummings, and Jim Campbell) focuses on a musical show. So does “CHANGE OF TUNE,” a GOLDIE VANCE short (Ngozi Ukazu, Olivia Margraf, Eleeza Mei, and Jim Campbell). Although readers cannot “hear” the music, the comics make it clear that art of all kinds is worth exploring.

It is not surprising to see Boom! Studios comics play around with self-awareness. The LUMBERJANES characters often use feminist icons in their puns. Other comics sometimes reference Boom! Studios publications. In general, the comics seem aware of their status as a complete collection. Which makes sense with the “mixtape” theme.

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In conclusion, the collection of comics from Boom! Studios’ talented creators shows off Boom’s cheerful tone. Not too corny, the compilation is a delightful window into the worlds of Boom! Studios comics. The artists involved clearly had fun trying out new ideas on favorite characters. As a result, BOOM! BOX MIXTAPE SC has something for everyone.

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