With this, Drumhellar reaches the conclusion for its second arc and… I don’t have much else to say besides that. Let’s just cut to the chase and see what we got. Is it good?
Drumhellar #10 (Image Comics)
I’m just going to forgo the opening introduction, because there really isn’t much to say honestly. The story is just Drum is going to be a dad now and there’s still some last minute hijinks to happen, like a werewolf baby shower and some villains still out there. It’s hard to honestly say because the story still remains vague, unclear, and foggy to the bitter end here… and by end, I do mean end. To my surprise (or lack thereof, since I had a feeling), I reached the end of the book and saw down in the corner the phrase, “THE END.” Given the way the book ended and the last shot of the issue, I am going to safely say that this is the end of the series.
I’m of two minds here about this ending. One, good. The comic has been, and even with its final issue, awful. The writing, story, and characters were just never there in this whole thing. On the other hand, I see this being disappointing for the fans of the comic who did enjoy it. The issue does a very poor job of wrapping everything up; there’s too many loose ends, unsolved tension between characters, the “villains” are still out there causing trouble (I assume, I’m still not clear about they were trying to do or if they were bad guys to begin with), and some new plot threads that were just recently created that are never going to be solved. It’s a very poor issue in that regard for its handling of the story and characters that’ll surely let the readers down.
So… who’s on first then?
The writing has remained the same for the book from beginning to end. Messy, confusing, dull, and kind of hollow. The dialogue ranges from being decipherable (if a bit stilted) to garbled with the amount of nonsense, non sequiturs, and directionless talk that goes on. There are scenes where the comic tries to have a moment or a bit of humanity and is often squashed by the odd imagery and lack of explanation about what the audience is seeing (the entire scene with Drum and his dad comes to mind) or the lack of development with the characters. The pacing and story structure still remain a mess, with the comic just jumping around from scene to scene, with little thought to it. The ending does have some charm if you came to like the characters and seeing them all together, but that’s really it.
Speaking of the characters, they remain a sort of interesting, but never become a fully realized, explored, or developed group of characters. Our main character, Drum, could have been interesting or even fascinating, but he never really went anywhere. Most of his personality traits are always told to us, but we never really see them in action to really believe them. His purple buddy had some potential as well, considering the slight information we learned about him, but he never really went anywhere either. Frankly, the most memorable thing about him or what he did was killing someone back in #7 and or him possessing a dog and humping a doll. The villains are still uninteresting and unclear. We never really learned what their deal was, their pasts, histories or whatever their motivations were besides being vaguely hinted at. Hell, the antler guy only recently appeared and is supposedly bad, but we never saw anything with him, while the killer children ghosts’ motivation was rather weak.
The supporting cast was never anything to write home about either. Padma was just sort of there to be a character Drum interacted with, but she never really did much or help progress the plot. Lupe didn’t really amount to anything either, just having Drum’s werewolf babies and being an ex of his, with nothing else really know about her. Lily was odd though, never really doing much either except inserting herself in the plot. It did seem like there was going to be a subplot with her and her dad, but that was just dropped last issue like it was nothing. Ultimately, her most memorable contribution the plot was helping the purple ghost jack off and that’s it. There were also others that popped in at points, but they didn’t really do or stand out much outside of their design and appearance. Just a weak group of characters to follow during this whole experience.
You look strangely enthused about asking him that question.
Ultimately, that’s kind of what this book was just about in the end. I think that Riley Rossmo, our story creator and artist, mostly used this book as an experiment for himself. He was experimenting with his skills as artist, while trying to write a very surreal and psychedelic book that was vague and almost nonsensical at points to stretch himself but also entertain the readers. It would certainly explain the overly creative and vivid imagery and drug trip scenes that filled this series from beginning to almost end (I’ll get to that). I’m sure all of us can appreciate a writer/artist trying expand, grow, and test himself here. However, I think it backfired, with the writing and story being just downright horrible since the Rossmo probably put more effort into the art and wasn’t paying much attention on how the story would come out.
Speaking of which, the artwork succeeded and was downright beautiful. I was never, and still am not, a fan of the artwork and style in the series, but I can see why people do like it. It’s vivid, the layouts and drug trips are unique looking, the characters are all unique from one another, and the coloring isn’t too bad. However, this issue was lacking in the visual department, since it didn’t really do anything visually creative or memorable. It led to a rather bland finale, especially in comparison to all that we have seen the book pull before.
Is It Good?
Drumhellar #10 brings this series to its apparent close if the ending is any indication. It’s a weak conclusion if this is the true end; it left way too much plot holes and loose ends with its story and characters. The writing still suffers from the series’ main problems and the artwork, surprisingly, feels visually boring this time around. In the end, even if the creative team was trying hard here to make a unique experience, it just never came into its own. I cannot recommend this series at all due to the quality of the writing and characters.