One of the things that’s pleased me most about comics this year has been the discovery of small press subscription services. While the Internet makes it easy(-ish) to keep tabs on emerging talents, it’s still a pleasure to hold a nicely produced piece of…
[Note: To keep things relatively short, I am omitting a review of Kochalka’s Dweeb, but it is a cute, lighthearted treat.]
As a native New Jerseyan who has always taken summer trips down the shore, Beach Girls immediately struck a cord with me. Those from the northern part of the state migrate down to the southern shores every summer to enjoy the beach, boardwalks, nightlife, and sunny laziness in the salty sea air. This is not without conflict though. To many year long residents of the shore, the northerners are referred to as BENNYs, a derogatory term that stands for Bayonne, Elizabeth, Newark, New York: historically industrial urban areas where patrons would flock from to exploit the beach while providing a strong tourism base for many of these economically struggling communities.
Although the location is not specified, Box Brown’s Beach Girls demonstrates this tension aptly, exploring the opportunistic relationship on both ends. The consumers, in this case the out of town beach girls, come down for the summer to party, meet hot guys, and frolic in the sand and surf. The “producers” or locals, are there to provide services for the consumers, selling surf gear, shell necklaces, weed, and male companionship. This relationship seems to work for the most part. People know how to play their roles. Katy and Ducky, two visiting beach girls who lead with their casual sexuality, end up sharing a jacked beach bro who I will refer to as ‘Hot Beach Guy’, since I don’t believe his name is specified (If I missed it, my bad Box). It always seems so easy for these people, doesn’t it? But there are those outside of that schema looking for something else and these are the people who encounter more challenges.