Comic Review: This Damned Band #1
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This Damned Band #1
Script by Paul Cornell
Art by Tony Parker
Colors by Lovern Kindzierski
Letters by Michael Heisler
Cover by Tony Parker and Lovern Kindzierski
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: August 5, 2015
Cover Price: $3.99

Tokyo. 1974. A rock band named Motherfather. Scratch that. Not A rock band, THE rock band. The seventies were a powerful time for musicians. Before the internet and before music television, live venues were the only place you could experience music. Sure, you could pop in an 8-track while driving or drop a vinyl record on the home phonograph but the true experience that is a live show was not something you could just watch. You had to be there. Rock musicians (no, almost all musicians) were almost deified in that era. I saw my first concert in 1977 and it was beyond my wildest dream. I continued to see band after band regularly until my thirties.

I tell you all this because if you missed this all then you have a need for a bit of background, an origin story if you will. But allow me to speak to This Damned Band #1 now that I’ve dropped some history on you.

Sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. Coming out of the groovy sixties, rock took a decidedly darker/harsher approach to music. Catapulting themselves into the public eye by openly embracing devil-worshiping, Motherfather became the grandest of them all. More famous than any other band of their time, they lived the life that their screaming fans expected. Pounding their instruments on stage and groupies by night, the band lived in excess, excessively.

But were they really worshiping Satan? Yes and no. You see, as with many others of that era (and even into modern day) a great stage presence sells records and tickets. You give the customer what they want and you continue to make money. It’s simple business: supply and demand. If you can supply the best product then you reap the best profits. But what happens when you take some super-drugs and experience the weirdest trip of your lives? And what if, while pretending to worship the devil, you accidentally were? Yeah, trippy.

Paul Cornell? Can I get a “hell yeah” from everyone? What a perfect choice for this miniseries! His ability to bring a very structured and British feel to his work means we get an amazingly detailed comic that will be sure to wrap the reader up in the story. Especially the way this one centers around a documentary of the band. It’s almost as if Cameron Crowe himself is behind the scenes of an actual film, it runs that smoothly.

But add in Tony Parker‘s art and the whole thing becomes almost ethereal. His ability to modify his style to meet the needs of the story and/or panels is unnatural. Superior linework is almost impossible to find, as is his ability to create contrast in his art. I seldom say this, but I would let this guy tattoo me if he wanted. Yeah, he’s that good.

This has a definite Dark Horse flavor to it, that whole supernatural vibe and all. But the assembled team brings this to life in a way that transcends the primary story. In just one comic, you are hooked. You know the characters and you want to see what happens. It is, to quote one of my employees, full of “boom sauce.” No capes, no mutant genes, no superpowers. Just good old fashioned devil worship and rock. Make Ozzy proud and go buy this comic!

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