Royal Nonesuch takes a look at Boom! Studios' Kill Audio # 1, the latest from Coheed & Cambria frontman Claudio Sanchez (The Amory Wars).
KILL AUDIO #1 (A)
KILL AUDIO #1 (B)
Written by Claudio Sanchez
Drawn by Sheldon Vella
SC, 24 pgs, FC, (1 of 6) SRP: $3.99
COVER A: Sheldon Vella
COVER B: Kristian Donaldson
Diamond Code: AUG090731
In Kill Audio, the newest limited series published by Boom! Studios, Claudio Sanchez and his collaborators turn in an unexpected story, this one unrelated to the grand sci-fi mythology that Sanchez' band Coheed & Cambria have shepherded for years. Here, Sanchez, along with wife and co-writer Chondra Echert as well as artist Sheldon Vella, trades in interplanetary strife for a down and dirty, often vulgar world that is far more grounded but no less existential.
In the opening pages of Kill Audio #1, the title character is being chased by giant knives, who are themselves brandishing (presumably normal-sized) knives. Kill Audio, whom we learn cannot die no matter how graphically injured he gets, is not all that impressed with the surrealism. It's good to know he knows enough about the world he lives in to have an opinion since it's so unfamiliar to the reader, they'll have to do a much deeper exploration of what they are looking at. The action is pretty constant, even manic, and it's perpetually unclear how the current scene was arrived at from the one preceding it. however, there is a clear storyline running through the comic book, but it is definitely difficult to stick with amidst all the unexpected weirdness. Still, Kill Audio #1 is plenty engaging, and readers will definitely wonder "what's next?"
Sheldon Vella's art is expressive and aggressively cartoonish. The main character, who is actually a hilariously grotesque caricature of Sanchez, suffers several comical and well-rendered indignities at one of his cohorts who is trying to test out Kill Audio's immortality. Vella has a difficult job here, having to draw, among other oddball characters, a giant gangsta chicken guy, a skeleton dressed in a gopher costume, and a talking pillow. His graffiti-styled artwork capably brings to life a world that gets more and more Dali-esque as the story moves on.
It's pretty obvious that Claudio Sanchez wanted to work on something a bit more grungy than usual, but still jibes with his storytelling sensibilities. The best thing about Kill Audio #1 is Sanchez and co.'s commitment to what they are doing. Regardless of what Kill Audio might have to say, this is a delightfully surreal world we are reading about, and readers are helpless to do anything other than simply run with it.
8 of 10