By Riley Rossmo & Alex Link
You might sum up Drumhellar with the words of Drum himself, “The mystery is the mystery of the mystery.” Or maybe you might just continue along the thought that this is one of those books that’s “out there” and not in the X-Files UFO kinda way. Drum, the main character if you haven’t already gathered that, is a different cat, so to speak. His ties to the supernatural and a funny little pink spirit named Harold that only he can see are strong, and there’s a sense that he’s really trying to figure out why and for what purpose. Nothing he comes across really phases him no matter how messed up it might be, but at the same time it’s like he’s not entirely sure what it all means. It feels like we’re still missing some big points about this character but with only two issues down there’s plenty of time to get into some real character development.
Riley Rossmo is clearly pouring himself into this series. That much has been clear from the announcement of this series and even in the way he talks about it. He’s proud of it and rightfully so. Drumhellar is a ‘let’s make this as weird and out there as we can’ kind of series as well as one that you just might have to read more than once to really take it all in. But as odd and different as it is, especially to anything else on the shelf, it’s pretty clear that Rossmo knows where he’s going and where he wants to take these characters and this series.
On the art side of things, Rossmo lets the pencil and inks fly; he’s going all out and producing some of his best work to date. His characters are consistent except for that time Harold turned into a bull but that was probably on purpose, and his flow moves naturally with the story. No space on the page is wasted. It’s also great to see Rossmo choose to duplicate, or triplicate in this case, his characters on a panel that they have to move across as opposed to chopping it up or only drawing them once. It’s more work, sure, but he does it anyway and it works great while looking great on the page. Another thing to note is Rossmo’s colors, particularly in the scenes where sh*t gets extra crazy and people start turning into piles of brains and eyes and other organs. Yeah, you read that correctly. Anyway, everything hits the fan, so to speak, and the whole look and feel changes in a very dramatic way, set off by the colors Rossmo picked for these pages. It works, it amplifies the crazy, it’s 100% signature Rossmo, and above all else looks great and really stands out.
Look, it can’t be stressed enough when it comes to Drumhellar: This ain’t your Daddy’s comic book, and it might not be your brother’s either but it’s darn sure worth a look. This isn’t your standard comic book and can’t really be treated as such; this is something more. In the world of comics there is a lot of cookie cutter stuff that’s beaten to death on all ends of the publisher scale; Drumhellar is not one of those comics. This more than deserves your attention and you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you missed out on it.