It’s been a while since I read one, but I kind of love Sports Comics. Sports and comic books go together like french fries and chocolate milkshakes. They may not be the first pairing you think of, but when you mix them together, they absolutely pop. Sports comics put you in the heat of the moment like nothing else. Every play presents a world of possibilities where victory and defeat are just a breath away. And let’s not forget about the players! It’s their dreams and drives after all that keep us turning the pages. Luckily, there’s a new sports comic on the scene, BOOM! Box‘s The Avant-Guards #1, written by Carly Usdin, illustrated by Noah Hayes with colors by Rebecca Nalty and lettering by Ed Dukeshire
The Avant-Guards #1 kicks off by introducing us to Charlene “Charlie” Bravo. Charlie is your average transfer student who has just enrolled in the Georgia O’Keeffe College of Arts and Subtle Dramatics, a school where everything is open to interpretation. She’s also a former basketball player with a mean lay upshot. A historically all-female school, Georgia O’Keeffe’s student body skews to the eclectic side of the spectrum. It’s the sort of school where art rules and you can get a degree in Improv. Most importantly, it’s Charlie’s new home.
In The Avant-Guards #1, it’s not clear why Charlie transferred to Georgia O’Keefe, a story we’re sure to see more of down the line. What is clear is that Charlie wants some friends. So she does what any new student in an unfamiliar school ought to do, she checks out the Student Activities Fair.
Tucked away behind the Dungeons & Dragons group and just next to the Coven booth, Charlie finds The Avant-Guards, a rag tag group of would be basketball players. Led by the persistent Olivia Bates, these would be academic athletes are at the forefront of the burgeoning art college basketball scene. With new teams forming around the country, the Avant-Guards just need one player to clinch their eligibility.
The Avant-Guards #1 sets up a lot for a first issue, establishing a fascinating setting, a colorful cast, and a world of possibilities. This first issue belongs firmly to Charlie and Olivia, following the two as they dance around a burgeoning friendship. Thanks to Carly Usdin’s smooth dialogue both characters’ voices pop off the page in their own unique ways. That smoothness continues in Noah Hayes’ art, which keeps the ball rolling with wonderfully stylized character designs and creative panel framing.
We don’t see a lot of the other Avant-Guards, but I get the feeling they’ll have a much bigger impact in future issues. Just where this comic will go I don’t know for sure. With sports, you never can. What I do know is The Avant-Guards #1 is sure to be a delightful journey into the world of friendship, art, and basketball.
The Avant-Guards #1 is available now in comic stores everywhere.
The Avant Guards #1
What I do know is The Avant-Guards #1 is sure to be a delightful journey into the world of friendship, art, and basketball.