Riley Rossmo and Alex Link follow their debut issue of “Drumhellar” with a more focused approach. The result is a story that is still deeply entrenched in the weird, but trying to make sense of it all. The dialogue absolutely pops with Harold being revealed as the sense of humor of the series. Meanwhile the incredible art by Rossmo weaves and bobs the reader through a surreal path on the pages.
WRITTEN BY: Riley Rossmo & Alex Link
ART BY: Riley Rossmo
RELEASE: December 11, 2013
“Drumhellar” is not easy to classify, it blends genres with every page and defies conventional tropes. It’s completely refreshing and interesting to watch as the story pulls you alongside Drum, who is no better off than the reader. His intrigue propels him. He thirsts to know more about the strange world around him, and he does know more than the reader. He’s inherently familiar with a world under the surface, but it seems that more often than not, he’s flying by the seat of his pants.
The entire ordeal this month deals with some mysteriously slaughtered cattle. Drum needs to visit a friend from his past in order to make sense of what is going on. The result is a nosedive into the surreal that pushes the story and the art into overdrive.
At times this series feels like a drug trip. The art goes through this carousel of pacing that finds a beautiful rhythm at its most intangible. Rossmo is really able to shine her when his line work becomes more erratic and the color bursts and bleeds into the panels.
Harold as a character is beautifully written and illustrated. It’s clear that Rossmo has an absolute ball drawing this imaginary little guy, as his sweeping tail using pulls him playfully through panels. He serves as fantastic comic relief and constantly serves as a remainder of the weird nature of the series.
I’d be lying if I said I had any idea where the book was heading from here. This is an issue with a lot more focus, but the focus is still deeply entrenched in the world of the weird. My only hope is that we go deeper. “Drumhellar” really shines when it pushes its more surreal elements to create the sense of a larger more intangible world.
It’s beautifully written and depicted and nothing seems completely out of reach for Drum. The series feels like “Twin Peaks” with a little dose of acid to boot. That might seem a little overwhelming for some, but for most it will be the perfect combination. The story may not make a ton of sense as it stands here, but given time to make its own rules and explanations the series will absolutely flourish.
For the time being it’s a beautifully rendered detective story steeped in the world of the weird. The art is absolutely stunning, and toward the latter end of the issue you’ll find yourself whisked away by Rossmo’s stunning use of wild lines. “Drumhellar” is something special, you’ll feel insane while reading it, and even more so for missing it.
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars.