Perhaps the best way to describe this series would be to liken it to a comic version of This is Spinal Tap. The band Motherfather is starting to wonder if maybe the whole “pretending to worship Satan” thing wasn’t such a good idea, especially after it turns out that there may have been more truth than they realized behind the pretense.
Mixing classic rock with black magic, Paul Cornell captures the excesses of the rock and roll lifestyle as they have been romanticized them with hindsight, and tales from the autobiographies and interviews given by those rock stars who survived through that time period. The way in which this story has been told thus far is reminiscent of the fly on the wall style of filming that filmmaker’s use when following musicians around, and it continues to work to great effect here again.
Tony Parker has drawn the panels in such a way that when combined with how Paul Cornell is telling the story it puts the reader into the comic; not as a reader who is really enjoying the story, but as a participant within the story itself. Several scenes take place with characters either just entering the frame beginning a conversation, or being halfway through the discussion until the notice you standing there and stop talking. Whether that’s because the fictional reader is holding a camera or microphone, Tony Parker has drawn a couple of scenes from our perspective. Doing this allows Paul Cornell to have the characters voice their thoughts about what has been happening so far into the series by having them talk to the camera; without talking to themselves, as it may seem at first, they’re actually talking directly to you, the character, and not you the reader. It’s a fantastic device that works very well without breaking the fourth wall.
As a stand alone comic, you could read and enjoy This Damned Band #2, but when read as it is intended to be – the second part in a six issue series – the comic really shines, and that’s what the scores below are based on. Yes, you can still enjoy this issue by itself, but if you can track down the first issue, then do so; this is a refreshing take on the excesses of rock music that continues to be an absolute delight to read.
Writer: Paul Cornell Art: Tony Parker
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9
Dark Horse provided a FREE copy for review
Also posted on Graphic Policy