PIZZA BOYZ: SEASON ONE BY SPENCER SCOTT HOLMES
Plot 80%
Characterization 85%
Art 80%
Summary
PIZZA BOYZ: SEASON ONE casts a very familiar eye over friendships we've all had in the past. While it feels nostalgic, its real strengths lie in a strong script and some great humour. Video game fan or not, it's a funny insight into a generation.
82 %
Indie Fun

This review is sponsored by Old Man Orange.

In the middle of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, a epic battle is raging. Two life long friends must take part in a Tournament of epic proportions. But there is a major problem, one of them has an off-brand controller… Set in the “glorious mid 2000’s”, PIZZA BOYZ: SEASON ONE, created by Spencer Scott Holmes, centers around friends Vince, Dunni, Kyle, and Cisco.

These guys love playing video games and eating pizza. They hold video game tournaments, discuss the dating benefits of MARIO KART, and visit their local pizza joint with rapid frequency. They are also enthusiastic podcasters, shooting the breeze with hilarious dialogue. Over the course of this 4 issue collection, the guys have a host of adventures: visiting the local gym, becoming lifeguards, and trying to make a movie. Their world view is influenced by things like TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, POKEMON, and MARIO KART. These friends are lovable, crude, naive, funny, and very vocal about their love of video games.

Pizza Boyz
Image courtesy of Old Man Orange

The World of the PIZZA BOYZ

Narrated by Vince, one of the four friends this series revolves around, PIZZA BOYZ: SEASON ONE opens with him and Dunni about to engage in a Video Game Tournament. However, Dunni is openly unhappy with having to play with an off-brand controller. Unfortunately, these are the breaks when you don’t bring your own. Dunni complains on how awful his controller is while the pair play STREET FIGHTER ALPHA, POWER STONE, DEAD OR ALIVE 2.

Just when it looks like they could switch controllers, Vince bounces, making the excuse that they need to meet up with the rest of the gang. In these first few pages of PIZZA BOYZ, the story hits the ground running with it’s major themes already at play: video games and friendship. And this is all done with a touch of relatable humor, which brings up, for me at least, some of the memories I had playing video games when I was younger.

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The Craft Behind the PIZZA BOYZ

Not every comic book has to be about capes and tights; the best and strongest indie comics shy away from those genres. With PIZZA BOYZ, Holmes writes about what he knows. His script is full of quirky characters, hilarious discourses on video games, and plenty of high and low brow humor. However, despite the heightened and cartoony reality of PIZZA BOYZ, there is a level of authenticity here that rings true.

Being a first-time, self published work, there are one or two minor errors present. Future printings and editions would benefit from correcting a few spelling errors. Additionally, there is a moment where a homophobic slur is used. However, this slur are not conducted by the main characters, but by an aggressive bullish side character. So the question is do you gloss over these things? Do you rewrite the past or try to present it realistically, warts and all? This may make a few readers hesitant to pick this book up, but it is something that should be taken in the context of its time.

Pizza Boyz
Image courtesy of Old Man Orange

SCOTT HOLMES’ ART AND AESTHETIC

Holmes’ art works strongly in tandem with the script. It’s cartoonish and has a similar vibe to SCOTT PILGRIM. The choice to keep the series in black and white is an inspired one. It really speaks to the era it’s reflecting and reminds me of the aesthetic of Kevin Smiths CLERKS. Also, in both script and art I noticed an improvement and progression in Holmes’ work from issue to issue. At each point in the collection, you can see Holmes’ is learning and strengthening his craft. The strengthening is most noticeable in issue 2, with the gang sitting around a table, recording a podcast. Here, the dialogue and banter zing, and his use of word balloons to connect the panels shows that this guy knows his craft.

As a completely creator-owned endeavor, PIZZA BOYZ: SEASON ONE works as its own slice of nostalgic life. Although there are some minor errors, it comes with the experience of creating comics. Overall, the series is easy to get into and fun to read. Spencer Scott Holmes’ storytelling will make you wistful for the days of your youth. As a result of this, we can all relate to the guys within these pages. We were all at one point in life the PIZZA BOYZ.

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Want more details about PIZZA BOYZ?

PIZZA BOYZ is on sale now and can be purchased here. If you want to keep up to date with Spencer Scott Holmes, visit his website here.

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