Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
This Damned Band #1 of 6
Cornell, Parker & Kindzierski
"This Damned Band" is a comic about a 1970s rock band that is participating in a documentary. The reader witnesses the difference between real-life for the band and the life they portray when it is time to be 'in character.' The comic book takes an interesting turn after the band trips on some mushrooms. The comic book is a good one because of the ideas within and contains good artwork, but unfortunately, doesn't do much to engage the reader with its characters. The comic is worth checking out but doesn't leave much of a lasting impression.
The set-up for the comic takes place very quickly. The band, Motherfather, is established in terms of members, their instruments and their basic dynamic within the first few pages. The book turns towards the documentary as the characters let the reader understand that this is little more than a mockumentary.
The comic then begins introducing secondary characters and throws the reader into a party. The comic begins to lose itself in the latter part of the book as characters are throwing out lines here and there and the personalities that Cornell might be trying to establish get lost with the characters ducking in and out of the panels.
The final sequence introduces a wild trip that results in a nice twist to close out the comic book.
The comic book has a lot of good ideas. How many other comics involve 1970s bands that are showing both their stage personalities and real ones while dipping into the occult? The problem is that Cornell's style of writing and humor make all of these characters blend together. The characters don't have enough time to establish their voices before they all seem to fuse together. It's a difficult read to slog through as a result.
The artwork has two distinct styles and both work nicely. The bulk of the book captures the 1970s look and makes sure the reader is placed squarely in the lives of this band. The details are good and the color scheme brings this issue to life. The final sequence with the characters on their trip, the art takes on a visual display that is fantastic. The pencils and colors blend together to make sure the reader finds themselves on the trip the characters are on. I enjoyed the artwork in this comic book because I felt it captured the look and feel of the 1970s very well.
"This Damned Band" is a comic book that follows a 1970s band through their documentary. The band has a stage persona and a completely different one when the cameras are off. The comic book stumbles when trying to provide distinct character voices but excels with the artwork. A comic book that has this many good ideas in it shouldn't be this difficult to get into and I felt this was because of the bland characterizations. This is one to check out but probably is going to cater to fans of the creators or readers that are into the rock band genre. Give this a look.
3 out of 5 Geek Goggles