By Steve Anderson | January 31, 2007

“Spaceboy” is a cheery little ball of fluff with a pleasant surprise that’s sure to leave some smiles in its wake.

Max Phelps dreams about leaving behind his wildly less than pleasant life on Earth for a much, much better one in space. Which, for Max, isn’t tough to achieve–everyone is on this poor bastard’s case like white on rice. From school to home and back to school, the only time Max can get a little peace is when he’s looking at the inky black depths of the infinite universe.

First off–“Dead Reagans” is a great name for a punk band. Not that it’s so far removed from other punk names–Riggs may well be a fan of the Dead Milkmen, creators of “Punk Rock Girl,” which is a fantastic song.

Second off, Riggs has done a masterful job of connecting to his audience. At least a goodish chunk of his audience has to sympathize with this somewhat–at least part of his audience either has been or knows the bullied kid who secretly longs to do one of two things–leave the planet that rains s**t on him day and night behind or have the hot punk chick confess at least some kind of affection in front of the entire class.

But in the end, what it basically comes down to is that “Spaceboy” is a great “been-there” situation for Riggs’ intended audience and he knows it. He has crafted it in a manner designed specifically to resonate with his audience. And, even better, he’s also included a twist ending that’s sure to bring smiles to some faces. At least, it did mine.

All in all, go find a copy of this cheery, engaging little epic with the surprise at the end. Sure, there’s not a whole lot of substance here, but what’s there is almost as good. It’s a package of cheerful, and in the end, that helps.

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