It’s time for me to confess my complete biased nature towards Nix Comics’ line of books. Perhaps it’s because they capture the music scene or music paired with comics creates that bridge between what is heard and what is seen, but either way I’m pretty much a sucker for their titles. I admit my biasness because they back it up with quality stories and quality art that breaks the norm of corporate comics. I can say all that I want, but if they didn’t back it up on their own then no one would listen. Do You Remember Rock’n’Roll Record Stores? is an adaptation of a story written by Bela Koe-Krompecher and is a play on The Ramones’ “Do You Remember Rock’n’Roll Radio” which is an apt title since the story is in part about The Ramones. Ah yes, The Ramones, is there anyone that can truly say that they don’t have some love or connection to the band? I highly doubt it, but Bela’s connection is incredible and possibly the envy of may fans.
The story is autobiographical as Bela tells of his time working at Used Kids record store. Bela, through the adaption done by Ken Eppstein, walks the reader through the era of vinyl and the beginning excitement of CD’s. His writing takes the reader’s back to the era or at least the ones old enough to remember, and captures a time in music that was very exciting. The story focuses on an encounter with The Ramones who were regulars at the record store. Whenever they passed through they would stop to see The Captain who was the owner of the store.
Frankly, nothing I can say will do the story justice, but Eppstein has done it justice. I never would have read this story otherwise and his adaptation was terrific as it added to the narration rather than trying to take the spotlight.
He also works magnificently with artist Andy Bennett who brings the story to life. Again, Bennett’s artwork adds to the story. It’s not trying to replace the narration, but rather just offer visual snapshots from the story. This isn’t your typical narration in which the characters movements progress the story. In fact the visuals are behind the narration almost like a period to the sentence. Bennett too captures the era which is very important. It needed to look 1991 which was a strange transitional year that was shedding off the end of the 80s, but hadn’t quite grown into the style that would forever be the 90s. Bennett nails it though because at first glance you can tell when the story is set.
I will also say that Bennett does a wonderful job with the hair styles; a lot of artists can’t draw hair or era appropriate hair. I have seen many a superhero in my days rocking what I call 70’s hair and others that are stuck in the 90’s and not by choice. To see it done intentionally and done well is a nice change of pace.
If you’re a music fan and especially a fan of The Ramones then this is a story you don’t want to miss. It’s different than the other Nix Comics in that one story runs throughout the entire issue, but it’s a story that you can’t get enough of. It showcases everything that Nix Comics has accomplished as a company in that it gives creators a place to tell their stories and crafts a fine comic book as a result. I may be biased, but it’s hard to argue with how good this comic is.
Writer: Bela Koe-Krompecher Artist: Andy Bennett Adapted by: Ken Eppstein Publisher: Nix Comics Price: $5.00 Website