Twitch (middle name Strummer) is the third of four children born to punk rockers Dirk Hopeless and Nikki Savage. While the rest of the family is rooted in punk, with oldest child Rat being the exception during his rebellious phase, Twitch is odd man out because of his identification with mod culture and music. In his introductory scene Twitch is shown having been up all night working on a painting and joking that he’s used crack to keep himself awake.
Twitch has something in common with sister Arsenal: they’re dating brothers Henry and Claude Shi. Younger brother Henry is a musician. Henty and Twitch have had an on and off relationship. In the short story “Romance #1” Van Meter shows Twitch and Henry as teens meeting for the first time at a martial arts match between their older siblings. The boys have such a good conversation that by the time of the match’s end they’re going out on a date, which attracts the attention of a couple bullies who are put in their place by Arsenal and Claude. Their break after nearly five years came as a result of Julliard accepting Henry’s application to study but rejecting Twitch for lack of “sufficient focus”. Twitch insisted Henry follow through with his dream. Several relationships follow for Twitch, but they’re mismatched and mostly unhappy from the glimpses that writer Jen Van Meter shows. Van Meter’s decision to tell Twitch’s story in the context of giving little sister Zero advice about boys and “not settling for less” is very well written and touching. As fate would have it, the two are reunited when Henry unexpectedly reappears at the family’s doorstep one night during a rainstorm.
Their newly rekindled romance is not without its bumps as seen when the men travel with Claude and Arsenal to Hong Kong so Arsenal can compete in a Kung Fu competition. Henry and Claude’s grandmother lives in Hong Kong and she is both revered and feared as a witch. Grandmother Shi spares no words when she reads the fortunes of the quartet. The future for Twitch, she says, shows that he’ll leave Henry for a woman. Her predictions create a lot of stress before the guys realize how silly it was to let her words get to them. The short story “Music/ Boxes” sees Twitch and Henry moving into their first home together with the help of family. and friends.
Twitch, Henry and the entire Hopeless Savage clan are created by Jen Van Meter. Visit Jen Van Meter’s site. Art by Chynna Clugston Flores.
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