Connect with us
Rockstar and Softboy
Image Comics

Comic Books

‘Rockstar and Softboy’ illustrates true best-friend energy in a fantastic world

An adorable, loving send-up dedicated to Grace’s own best friend.

If you’ve ever had a best friend so caught up in your sex life that schemes have been hatched to remedy any fallow points. If you’ve ever thrown a party and known who was going to bring PBR and who was going to bring Lord Calvert. If you’ve ever seen someone just the right type of ‘cute’ across a crowded room. I’ve you’ve ever accidentally summoned a demon by way of literal party magic.

These are all reasons why Rockstar and Softboy by Sina Grace—out from Image this week—might be a book for you.

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly comics podcast!
'Rockstar and Softboy' illustrates true best-friend energy in a fantastic world
Fantastic.
Image Comics

Set in a world with queer witches, zombie bros, and chain-smoking, shape-shifting cat-women, RS&SB is a book about best friends first and all that fantasy stuff near-second. It celebrates the sort of perfect union that comes from loving someone so much that you’re in perfect balance with one another in that special way that you force each other into confronting the harder concerns of life. It’s a magical relationship to have, one that results in the pair of you becoming better, more whole people. In the world of RS&SB, being better people is illustrated by super-sentai transformation—which, to be honest, is how it feels in real life.

Rockstar and Softboy
True friendship.
Image Comics

More important, it’s a book celebrating a type of friendship rarely represented in culture: that of the platonic gay BFF. As Grace explains in an afterword, he was sick that he had to project his BFF relationships onto female pairings in pop culture—relationships like Romy and Michelle and Broad City. The sorts of stories where sex-positive, incredibly intimate friendship might devolve into Booksmart-style public (and ultimately restorative) argument are not often centered around gay men, even though those friendships are somewhat universal.

That’s a deservedly heavy center to a book in which the accidental combination of party people summons a dangerous, mythical Party Animal, but that’s the joy of RS&SB. So many of the fantastic elements of the book are very truthful analogs for a party-forward, inclusive community. Nothing in the book feels far-flung for the mere sake of it.

Rockstar and Softboy
Trust me, you know these people, too.
Image Comics

That chain-smoking cat woman? The friend that somehow ends up kinda-sorta living at your house (*coughs awkwardly* – this was me for about a full year in college). The mystical cliques—witches, vampires, sorcerers and zombies—easily stand in for each group of friends who overlap, Venn Diagram-like, at all the right house parties. That chemistry of finding the perfect combination of crews to make a truly epic night (and get your friend laid), broken down into the fantastic.

And that Party Animal, the tipping point into the dangerous, weird, awkward and horrible at a party. Not quite an inevitability, but certainly possible to be borne out of any number of over-indulgences or self-esteem collapses.

Rockstar and Softboy
We’ve all met this guy, for sure.
Image Comics

The book, in all its manic, somewhat self-indulgent zaniness, never betrays the inner celebration of friendship and life that Grace means it to be, and even when the book veers away into abrupt super-heroics, it never leaves the realm of relatable. It’s an adorable, loving send-up dedicated to Grace’s own best friend, and it left me yearning for those distant, pre-pandemic years with my own BFFs.

Rockstar and Softboy
‘Rockstar and Softboy’ illustrates true best-friend energy in a fantastic world
Rockstar and Softboy
With all its good-times energy, Rockstar and Softboy is a very accurate analog for BFFs living in a party culture.
Reader Rating1 Vote
8.6
Honest and caring.
Delightful, but never boring.
You'll probably just wish you were at the party.
8
Good
Buy Now

Join the AIPT Patreon

Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:

  • ❌ Remove all ads on the website
  • 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
  • 📗 Access to our monthly book club
  • 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
  • 💥 And more!
Sign up today
Comments

In Case You Missed It

Full April 2023 DC Comics solicitations: New Green Arrow and Superboy coming soon Full April 2023 DC Comics solicitations: New Green Arrow and Superboy coming soon

Full April 2023 DC Comics solicitations: New Green Arrow and Superboy coming soon

Comic Books

New Dawn of DC 2023 details reveal Cyborg, Titans, Green Lantern, and more New Dawn of DC 2023 details reveal Cyborg, Titans, Green Lantern, and more

New Dawn of DC 2023 details reveal Cyborg, Titans, Green Lantern, and more

Comic Books

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin –The Lost Years' #1 review 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin –The Lost Years' #1 review

‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin –The Lost Years’ #1 review

Comic Books

Captain Marvel-led 'Avengers' #1 launching May 17th Captain Marvel-led 'Avengers' #1 launching May 17th

Captain Marvel-led ‘Avengers’ #1 launching May 17th

Comic Books

Connect
Newsletter Signup