Review: Bandthology – A Music Anthology

If there is one thing I enjoy, it’s the mixing of music and comics. Things like Blue Monday, Nix Comics Quarterly, Scott Pilgirm, Hopeless Savages and many others that I can’t even begin to remember right now, have always caught my attention and drawn me in. I love the idea of made-up bands or the inclusion of real bands in comic books. So a book called  should be right up my alley right? Fuck yeah it is. The only thing wrong with this book was that in most cases depending on the type of story, I wanted more of it. In some cases it was just a simple one-off story that had nowhere else to go after it concluded, but in other cases I could see following the story into a series and thoroughly enjoying it. The first story “Breakout” follows a four piece intergalactic band with three hot chicks and one “Creature of the Black Lagoon” looking vocalist. They book a benefit show and after having such a great time the lead singer shares his “moisture” with the audience by peeing on them. He comes from a desert planet so this is actually a sign of respect from his people, but he’s still arrested for public urination. He’s sentenced to death strangely enough, but his band mates have a plan to bust him out using boobies and explosives. Writer Wendi Freeman keeps the story short and simple, but with plenty of room for it to continue. The panel count is clearly limited so a lot of the characters say things instantly in response of situations in order for the story to keep moving. In a way, Freeman uses this to her advantage to make the comedy punchy and fast. The art was some of my favorite as it was in all black and white and thick clean line work. It was a great looking story and the character design made it stand out from the rest of the stories.

The next story “The Beast In Me” was written and drawn by Dan Dougherty. In a way it’s about feeding that need to perform in front of an audience and the musicians struggle with either ditching the beast or giving it what it needs. It was something that I think anyone in the creative feed can relate to and I found Dougherty’s take on everything very interesting. His art style was also very fitting for the story with it's all black and white style. The “Beast” has an awesome design and visual representation that kept the story interesting and different.

Bandthology_Vol_01I have to skip the next one because by talking about it I will ruin it for you. I can quickly say that writer/artist Matt Collander provides an interesting look on why we create music and who we create it for. It was by far one of my absolute favorite stories in the book. The art was void of detail, but something about that really works for it and I’m pretty sure it was photo referenced.

The last story I’m going to talk about because you need something to read when you buy the book, is called “The Devil’s Beat” and is written and drawn by Andy Vanderbilt. It basically combines Kung Fu training with learning how to play the drums. A dude travels to a remote temple to learn the drums from a master and is put through many grueling, drum related tests in order to become a master. It has a Manga quality to it and I could see it being reworked into an ongoing series for sure. Just imagine revival drummers from different masters battling in a battle of the bands setting.

I really liked all of the stories in this comic and again could see at least a few of them becoming on-goings or being revisited with another point of view on music. The great thing is that there isn’t a weak story amongst them and even though I didn’t talk about all of them it’s not a sign of weakness on the remaining stories part. I just couldn’t ruin the surprise of each new story for you. If you dig any of the comics I listed at the beginning or just like the idea of bands/music in comics then check this book out.

Score: 4/5

Writers: Various

Artists: Various

Publisher: King Bone Press

Price: $5.00 (Don't worry the page count is worth it!) Update: Grab it for .99 cents on Comixology

Website: King Bone Press