Robert Johnson Jr.
It has been quite difficult to 3nd a comic to fill the gap that “Jem and the Holograms” comics once held upon the conclusion of the six-part “Infinite” storyline back in October 2017 – there were no comics in the ecosystem that mixed music and excitement as well as “Jem” did.
The 2016 “Josie and the Pussycats” reboot, as part of the New Riverdale initiative, filled in that gap once more, but that, too, ended in September of that same year.
Enter Kathleen Jacques’ “Band Vs. Band.”
Originally released online on Nov. 28, 2010 under its full name “Band Vs. Band Comix,” Jacques’ story of two rival bands has been running strong ever since, despite what the on-and-off production of the webcomic may suggest.
The story is told from the perspective of two bands, one sold to the reader as “good” and the other as “evil” – the Candy Hearts and the Sourballs, respectively. However, readers are quick to learn that, despite the traditional “good versus evil” formula, there is no lethal vitriol between them. It is all in good fun.
It is very minimalistic in its art style, using six colors on most pages, but the minimalistic look gives “Band Vs. Band” its charm from the get-go. On that note, the characters who represent each band, as well as the characters’ designs, are lively and noticeable on every page, acting as representations of their band’s respective musical style.
The Candy Hearts, led by Honey Hart, give off a pop-rock vibe with their clothes, looking soft and comforting on every page they appear. As for the Sourballs, led by Turpentine, their vibe is more punk-rock-inspired, preferring darker colors and harsher clothing choices, acting as the perfect counter to the Candy Hearts.
As for the plot? Whew.
Think of “Band Vs. Band” as a musical sketch comedy where the reader cannot expect what happens next. You have your mix of supernatural phenomena, band battle hijinks, backstage shenanigans, and a whole lot of gay stuff.
Like, a ton of gay stuff.
You see, “Band Vs. Band” is a musical sketch comedy, like I mentioned before, but it is also a fun, romantic romp. One of the biggest points of the plot is that Honey and Turpentine end up together as a couple – which, given their stylistic differences, is funny, in and of itself.
Jacques’ writing is hilarious and witty, yes, but it is also very heartwarming. It is impossible to read this webcomic without a smile on your face, at least in my experience from reading it over this past summer.
The interactions between both bands and their members are lovely to behold and as you read through the 276 pages of “Band Vs. Band,” you grow with the characters and you truly get to understand them better over time.
I highly recommend “Band Vs. Band” to every person who is on the hunt for a new, lighthearted comic to read during these stressful times of the semester, especially if you need something to look forward to at the end of a long, frustrating day. Luckily for you, the webcomic is available for free on bvbcomix.com.
However, if you crave your webcomics in book form, you can purchase the two, already existing volumes of the webcomic for $25 each on the o/cial “Band Vs. Band” shop – your only problem will be getting Vol. 1, for it has been sold out for quite a while. To make up for this, you can find a PDF version of Vol. 1 on gumroad.com/kathmachine for $10CAD (or $7.59USD).