BOOTS-N-BOOZE #3: $15, 8½” x 11”, glossy, bound, 42 pgs.

Mar 10, 2023

This is an anthology of eleven different skinhead and mod stories from the late ’80s in Santa Cruz, a very specific time and place that serves the storytelling well. It’s a graphic novel with art from James Reitano, Joel Loya, Danny Boy Smith, Misty Hecht, Courtney Schamach, and Johnny “Peebucks” Bonnel (Swingin’ Utters). I enjoyed most of the art in here and there are many different styles. Always a good thing for an anthology to show off some diverse artists. Most of the stories are well told and have excellent storyboarding with the panel layouts. There were some parts of “Hollywood Babylon” that read very awkwardly, as sentences were cut off in one panel and continued in the next with no ellipses indicating that. It gave the comic a weird and disjointed cadence. I enjoyed the story of “Kim the Armadillo Skin.” It felt very normal and on brand that a friendship was struck because a skinhead was walking around with a taxidermy armadillo she picked up at a thrift store. I’ve had similar adventures with friends and soon-to-be friends carrying a large stuffed orca we found on the sidewalk in L.A. All of the stories have a good hook to bring you in, an exciting climax, and a lighthearted (for the most part) resolution. Oh, it also comes with a 7” from a two tone ska band from ’80s Santa Cruz called Speciall Guest. Bonus! If you’re at all interested in the ska, reggae, northern soul, mod, or skinhead culture, you’ll love this. –Kayla Greet (Pirates Press)

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