Boom! Box 2017
Written by Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith & Kurt Lustgarter
Illustrated by Naomi Franquiz
Coloured by Brittany Peer
Lettered by Jim Campbell
So the 80’s saw the Gloomies hit the big screen and that was the biggest thing to happen in this small town. Now as the girls get ready to bid summer adieu they find themselves with the opportunity to live out their own Gloomies adventure. With a treasure map in hand and break-ins and shady figures all about things are starting to get interesting.
I have to admit that while this is one of those wonderful homages to an 80’s classic film, Goonies never say die!, and while the girls might not be exactly like them give it time as this crazy adventure will bond them in ways they never imagined were possible. Considering what their friendship looks like already that’s going to be fun to see get even stronger. That Kiwi and Kurt have managed to infuse these girls with such great and varied personalities in such a short amount of time, see page count, is really very impressive.
While this has all that tone, mood and feel of the Goonies on it’s surface it’s so much different in a lot of ways too. I mean right now there isn’t a “Sloth” type character and it’s set in a modern age of cell phones and rich kids who are as rotten as we all know them to be, the kind that die first in horror movies! So it’s very contemporary in that regard and that makes it the kind of role model-esque for younger readers while keeping older readers on the hook as well. This is what an all-ages book really needs to be it’s perfect for a myriad of reasons and highly among them is that friends are forever and don’t ever sweat the little things.
The interiors here are spectacular! In a lot of ways I feel like it’s this elevated version of Scooby Doo’s cartoon adventures. It has that darker mystery vibe to it that it needs to be this all-ages successful and familiar yet all fresh, new and original at the same time. I love the use of page layouts with their angles, perspective and yes those backgrounds really make this superb.
The way this story is structured is fantastically done as we see through the pacing of if. There’s this whole feel about it as we move through the pages that takes us through a range of emotions. You can sense frustration at moments, exacerbation as well which is fun to see and then there’s the good natured ribbing in the dialogue between them all that shows us how close they really are.
Whether you’re a fan of 80’s pop culture or finding this story for the very first time this is what will end up being recycled years from now. An homage to an homage, why because simply put it’s just that darn good! You’ll thrill as the girls find themselves going from innocent hunt to perilous journey while proving that yes indeed anything boys can do girls can do too!