Drumhellar has been one of those trippy little indulgences that I have thoroughly enjoyed during the last several months. The opening story arc had me laughing a lot, informed a little, and entertained completely. Riley Rossmo working the story and art with Alex Link assisting with the script, had put me in a place of stony goodness which feels just fine as we follow the adventures of one Mr. Drum Hellar, a paranormal investigator of sorts…Well, actually, he is a guy who has strange visions when he is stoned who follows those visions to solve whatever problems the vision is pertaining too. Thus far, he has encountered, bog people, stampeding spirit dinosaurs, psycho werewolf exes, and that is just to name a few things. I haven’t even begun to delve the surface of all the amazing and dazzling things that Drum has encountered within this title. It has been some ride. But with the new story arc, a more sinister and dark tone has befallen our hero and his travelling companion, a spirit cat named Harold who used to be a human. There seems to be a group of psychotic kids(?) in masks who are killing bad parents all over the place. The murders are brutal and Drum’s visions are likewise the same. Something is afoot and it needs solving….Enter our man Drum as he is just the guy to figure this thing out.
Before all of that happens, we get to see the origins of Harold. I do not know what I was expecting, but Harold’s origin depicted here was not it. Still, it is just another piece of this fluid puzzle that is slowly getting filled. The guys encounter some strange (and uniquely personal) things in this issue that comes back to an ending with Harold, Drum, and the psycho kids face to face. Things are getting ready to get serious as the psychos seem to have Drum next on their list.
Where Rossmo and Link are going with this thing, I have absolutely no idea. But it is in that uncertainty that lay the beauty of this entire comic. Nobody knows where it is going. We are made to witness things from Drum and Harold’s point of view and Sherlock and Watson, they are not. They are more like Bill and Ted trying to negotiate this strange terrain that they find themselves in and all of the bizarre happenings going on. It all makes for some captivating reading that begs you to read everything over again a couple of times to really engage with all that is happening.
Rossmo and Link have created quite a complex read that appears on the surface to be just a stoner comedy. It is waaaaaaaay more than that and the writing gives you little glimpses here and there of something serious. But like a kid with ADHD, we float to something else real quick. We see a clue, but then there’s something else that draws our attention. It is an impressive feat that makes this story such a likeable tale.
Likewise, the same can ring true for Rossmo’s art. His drawing and use of color are a funky mix of florescent light reality with bold splashes of far out colors. It runs from the real to the unreal. And like the writing, it begs you to read it a couple of times to really drink it all in. I must say, I have been hooked on it from Issue #1, and I am still hooked on it at #8.
The tone may be a little more morbid than the last, but nothing has changed with this title eight issues in. Rossmo and Link are bringing it in a big way and to read Drumhellar is to absolutely love it. It is a nice alternative to other titles and well worth the investment as you get such a multilayer of goodness with each issue. Hell, Drumhellar is a tiramisu of comic reading. It is sweet, bold, decadent, and a little sinister too. But it is one title that you will definitely enjoy and order again.
Writer: Riley Rossmo, Alex Link Artist: Riley Rossmo Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 8/27/14 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital