Ah, Drumhellar. A book in which I’m never quite sure what is going on while reading, yet always feel satisfied when I’ve finished it. I’ve been reading Drumhellar since its debut and can honestly say it’s been a wild psychedelic ride from the start, and issue 6 continues down the path of craziness.
This issue finds our hero, Drumhellar, contemplating where to go next; as a recently wanted man (see last issue) he needs to hit the road and looks to his friends for help and guidance. So, like any other sane person, he uses the power of tantric werewolf prayer and two ex-girlfriends, Padma and Lupe, to guide him. Meanwhile, Harold is looking for love, and as he is a floating pink ghostly thing, he obviously runs into some problems. Oh, there is also a weird, creepy-looking kid in a mask going around killing people in Washington.
What I love most about this series is that I’m never really sure where exactly it’s going – Riley Rossmo and Alex Link take you along on Drum’s drug trip and we just get to sit back and watch it unfold. Rossmo has done some work that deals with ‘edge of reality’ theme before in some of his previous work, but here, he gets to really explore it. The art is just gorgeous, and Rossmo really does an amazing job with the psychedelic visuals, which really are the highlight of any issue in this series. The coloring is fully matched to the mood in each panel. The colors are dark and melancholy when we see the creepy kid stalking the streets, and when Drum is meditating with his ex-girlfriends, the palette changes to warmer, more vibrant colors.
As I mentioned before, though, Rossmo’s art really shines in the more intricate psychedelic scenes. Everything completely breaks apart and there is no standard structure to the panels, yet I’m never truly lost or confused. Everything blends together so nicely that I forget that I’m reading a comic and feel like I’m gazing into someone’s mind. I really enjoy the way Rossmo does these sequences – at the start, the panels will start to break apart on one page, and when you turn to the next, you come face to face with some of the best and craziest splash pages I’ve seen in years. What’s even better is that when the sequence is coming to an end, Rossmo uses some very ingenious ways to bring structure back to the page. You’ll start to see panels form from the mind-bending images, and slowly, you’re brought back to reality.
Drumhellar is published by Image Comics under Jim Valentino’s Shadowline imprint. There are a lot of good books found in this imprint and Drumhellar is by far my favorite. Both Riley Rossmo and Alex Link have created a consciousness-expanding world and I’m ready for where it takes me next.