cover image Brooklyn’s Last Secret

Brooklyn’s Last Secret

Leslie Stein. Drawn & Quarterly, $29.95 (296p) ISBN 978-1-77046-634-0

A rising indie band loads the van for a cross-country survey of dingy clubs, outdoor festivals, and at least one half-price wing night in this quirky fictional tour diary by Stein (I Know You Rider). Major Threat (they know...) hope a stint with a younger opening act will jump-start a breakthrough. Their agent has booked a mixed bag of gigs—low-key bars, a couple larger venues, but also a deflating bill with a stand-up comedian. Lighthearted vignettes of the tour grind get a lift from Stein’s distinctive colored pencil and watercolor art and expressive, twee caricatures of the band (their puppet-like heads are dashed as little more than eyes, mouth, and a haircut). New singer Marco acclimates to the band between calls to his girlfriend, Ed (drums) cultivates a tour beard (he’s taking time off from a tech job), Lillith (guitar) broadens her horizons in the wake of a recent breakup, and the beatifically chill Paul (bass) naps and abides. Real-life rocker Stein’s insider perspective shines through in scenes of hurried sound checks, Red Bull–fueled debates, occasional hook-ups, and road trip humor, and in how the narrative lays bare the uncertainties and loneliness of life in a roving makeshift family unit. This endearing hangout comedy has a lived-in feel that’s sure to resonate with aspiring musicians and music lovers alike. (Mar.)