Drumhellar, the brainchild of Alex Link and Riley Rossmo, continues its offbeat, hallucinogenic run here with more of the bizarre, drug-addled awesomeness that we’ve come to expect from this title. To illustrate that point, this issue includes ghost dinosaur stampedes, floating umbilically-tethered babies, werewolves and toilet wine. Yeah, ‘conventional’ is most definitely not a word you’d use to describe this series.
Harold (Drum’s “imaginary” friend) continues to steal the show for me, with his humorous interactions with Drum providing the heart of the ‘double act’ that manages to tie all the otherwise disparate plot points together. We also get to see a little more of his abilities and skills here (besides serving as a floating question mark or a sounding board for Drum’s bizarre theories), which should add even more exciting possibilities for the character in the future.
The surreal tone of the book can sometimes be difficult to keep up with, but there’s a beauty to the flow of the storytelling that – once you get used to – actually works extremely well. We’re always left feeling like we’re one step behind Drum’s thought process as he pieces together the ‘clues’ and decides how to solve the latest problem, and are only allowed to catch up ever-so-briefly to acknowledge his success before being instantly left in the dust again as the book surges forward. It’s an unusual approach, but for a book like this which is based so much on the prevailing aura of confusion, it just plain works.
While I’ll freely admit (and I’m sure the creators would echo this sentiment) that this title isn’t for everyone, and can be a somewhat challenging read with all the surreal plot points and frequent hallucinations, there’s something utterly engaging about it that’s difficult not to be drawn in by. Link’s knack for realistic, humorous dialogue and Rossmo’s truly unique artistic style marry up perfectly here, creating a book that is truly like nothing else on the shelves.
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The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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