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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Comic Review: This Damned Band issue #1 from Dark Horse Comics

THIS DAMNED BAND #1
Writer: Paul Cornel
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Artist: Tony Parker
Colorist: Lovern Kindzierski
Cover Artist: Tony Parker
Genre: Humor, Horror
Dark Horse Comics
Publication Date: October 07, 2015
Format: FC, 32 pages; Miniseries
Price: $3.99
UPC:7 61568 25799 1 00311
Spinal Tap Meets Ghostbusters

1974: the world’s most famous rock band thought they were “worshiping Satan,” only to find they were actually . . . worshiping Satan.

From Paul Cornell (Wolverine, Action Comics) and Tony Parker (Mass Effect: Foundation) comes a darkly hilarious adventure of black magic and classic rock!

* A hilarious documentary-style thrill ride of black magic and rock music!

“Paul Cornell’s ability to introduce us to a character at the beginning of an episode and have us crying for them at the end—for whatever reason—is, in my opinion, unmatched.”—Doctor Who TV


Let it be said: I love classic rock in a way that is probably unhealthy and I flung myself at this title like a 1970s groupie at a tour bus. Or something. From the get-go I loved the psychedelic colors of the cover, loved the tour-poster look of the interior, and when it was obvious right from the start that there would be Spinal Tap-esque docu-leanings? Hells yes. We’re immediately introduced to the band Motherfather: Justin on vocals, Bob on drums, Kev on lead guitar, Alex on Bass, and Clive on second guitar (as well as band founder).

A lot of this issue plays with the mythos and game of rock n’ roll – Justin is telling us what we want to believe from the start, and when the camera falls away, of course it’s a different story. There’s plenty of references here to keep rock fans amused, and the whole thing reads like a healthy blend of Spinal Tap, Almost Famous, and Led Zeppelin’s mythos. Motherfather works hard to be its own entity, though, and you slowly see the characters break away from the resemblances and archetypes it’d be extremely easy to lump them into. There seems to be a tug of war at times as characters come into their own then fall back into clich├ęs that we’ve seen before, but for a first issue, it works well. The use of the documentary viewpoint via the comic panels is a genius idea, and it keeps the story moving along at a good pace. We also get a bit of foreshadowing with a tea leaves reading gone wrong…or maybe it’s just coincidence.
That’s the other interesting thing – there’s a good amount of alluding to something’s gonna happen, a good amount of tension building, a good amount of “oh yeah we’re into the occult, ha, not really,” but it isn’t until the last few pages that things get out from under the rock stereotype and we actually are dropped off the side of the cliff with the punchline. The art makes great use of the drug-trip angle, but what’s really awesome is the other shoe isn’t really dropped until the very last image.

The end of the book keeps the theme going with Motherfather’s discography, which is a nice touch. All in all, a strong first issue that has me really intrigued with where it’s going.

Four and a half rockin’ sheep




Guest Reviewer: Selah Janel

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