Publisher: Vault Comics
Writer: Ram V
Artist: Anand RK
Letterer: Aditya Bidikar
Release Date: 17th November 2021
The apocalypse is here, the world has ended, and the tattered remains of the human race are struggling to survive in dwindling communities. Communities like Bakerstown, population 95 and home to the last radio station on earth. Welcome to Radio Apocalypse, providing the soundtrack to the lives of the citizens of Bakerstown through love, loss, passion, joy and despair.
Okay, and this is very important, before you read this comic read the suggestions, because this comic is intended to be read to a soundtrack and it will most definitely enhance your experience.
Reading comics while listening to music is something I do regularly, and having a soundtrack specific to a comic is not a new concept, but the way the songs are used to build the story in this case is intended to bring you closer to the mindset of the creative team as they crafted this story, and I like it. There are a couple of points in the first issue where following the musical prompts actually forces you to stop and just appreciate the moment, and it’s actually quite a profound experience. Over the years a few comics have made me stop dead, but I can’t remember the last time I was brought completely to a standstill to just stare at a single image, letting the music wash over me, and if you take nothing else away from this issue, please just take that moment.
Story wise, we’ve all heard similar stories before. Post apocalyptic struggle for survival, communities banding together to fight the darkness outside, and so on and so on. But while this is certainly the backdrop to the story, it isn’t the story itself. This story is about the people, and this first issue has some superb character development and one moment that, combined with Springsteen playing in my headphones, was nothing short of heart-stopping. For me, this issue could have ended right there, but that’s not how real life goes, there is an aftermath and it’s never as neat as we’d hope.
The artwork by Anand RK and Anisha is excellent, I was a huge fan of Anand RK’s work on Blue in Green. There is something that I find really beautiful and full of emotion, and Anisha’s colouring in this issue makes some of the panels invoke an almost visceral response for me.
I think, and this is without meaning to patronise or condescend, that you’ll either ‘get’ this comic or you won’t. If you look at is purely as an apocalypse story then I think you’ll be disappointed but if you embrace the whole story and the way these guys intend it to be read, then I think that this series is going to surprise you, and I really, really hope that it’s the latter.
This is also a story that has been a long time coming. We’re approaching eight months since it’s originally slated release date, and four years since it’s initial conception. To be released as a limited four issue run I am torn, I really want to read this as each issue comes out because this is a stellar team but at the same time, I really want to wait and consume this as a complete book, and get the full experience in one hit.
I’ll leave that decision to you. Single issues, all at once, buy the trade, buy both, but you should most definitely buy it.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek