cover image Sci-Fu


Yehudi Mercado. Oni, $12.99 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-62010-472-9

In 1980s Brooklyn, eighth-grader Wax may be respected for his DJ skills (and, with his flattop and track suit, he looks the part), but his raps leave something to be desired. After Wax’s spinning attracts extraterrestrial attention, he’s transported to the futuristic city of Discopia along with his friend Cooky, his crush Polly, and his family. Wax quickly learns the art of Sci-Fu, a mixture of music and martial arts, from Kabuki Snowman, just one of many odd creatures they encounter. In a series of musical confrontations reminiscent of the Scott Pilgrim stories, Wax must fight the Five Deadly Dangers before taking on giant robot Choo Choo. Mercado has created a visually delicious adventure that does its best to imbue a visual medium with the power of sound. Mercado uses onomatopoeia and visualized sound waves to emphasize that this is an aural adventure; color-coded speech balloons help readers keep track of who is spitting rhymes. His caricatured figures and dynamic layouts, coupled with a neon palette and graffiti flourishes, make for an entertaining story with a little something for everyone: hip-hop, tech-driven action, and romance. Ages 9–12. (Mar.)