Drumhellar follows the adventures or rather misadventures of Drum Hellar, a laid back “man of mystery” who follows visions and travels with Harold, a sort of hallucinogenic squirrel. At least, I think that is what he is. Bad things have happened to Drum and he has returned to a small town where his “ex” lives as he needs her help in solving the problem he has. While there, he finds what he is looking for, but it may just have unleashed some seriously dangerous things. We will have to see. “Trippy” is the best way to describe this comic. It is trippy. Not a “bad acid” kind of scary trippy, but a happy mellow “chill” kind of trippy (Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd seems the appropriate level of trippy song mood). Drumhellar reminds me of a Constantine without the accent and with far less ambition. He doesn’t seem to want to master anything. He seems to be enjoying the ride, even though it can get a little rough. The character of Drum seems likeable enough, but he’s a little aloof. I think that is his design however as Riley Rossmo and Alex Link do a good job in allowing our hero to kind stumble/walk into bizarre situations…kind of like a stoner who crashes into a curb (whoa…..), accept the curb unleashes an evil spirit (Whoa…Whoa…). I am unsure if he is a powerful guy in this spirit world, but he definitely has some baggage in the “real” world that demonstrates he does have some strong connection with the supernatural. Hey, one of his exs is a bisexual werewolf who slept with his other ex; that’s some baggage.
I liked the artwork and it complemented the story well. Its use of dreamy visions art and almost fluorescent light (to see all the imperfections) “real world” art demonstrated a nice command of the story. I for one like what Riley Rossmo did with the story and the artwork.
Not a whole lot happens in Drumhellar, but a lot does happen. It is a weird device used and I like it. Rural town settings are always a nice change of pace because in the vastness of the rurality, strange things are afoot (think Bon Temps in the True Blood books and show). It makes for an additional character which is a nice effect and in which Rossmo utilizes well.
I recommend Drumhellar not exactly as an intense action/adventure story, but as an enjoyable relaxing kind of fun read that has left the door open for so many avenues that I can see this story advancing really well. The sky’s the limit and I hope that Rossmo can reach that limit. Let’s likewise hope that Drum Hellar can understand his visions and actions as well. This is one you can read a couple of times and get something new out of it. Well done guys, well done.
Writers: Riley Rossmo (Story), Alex Link (Script) Artist: Riley Rossmo Publisher: Image Comics via Shadowline Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 11/06/2013