If you want a title that reads like Twin Peaks with even heavier doses of random psychedelic dreams, then Drumhellar might be exactly what you’re looking for. And with issue #9, we start to get the rumblings of a new arc.
No way to fight! Nowhere to hide! Nothing to smoke! This time the horror is all too real as Drum finds himself running for his life. The supernatural killers hunting him in the dark want to know just one thing: how badly does he want to stay alive?
Each issue of Drunhellar is so dreamy and ephemeral that you almost want to let writers Riley Rossmo and Alex Link off the hook when it comes to plot. Yeah, there’s certainly enough of a plot here and there to keep it from feeling like a surrealist short film, but most of this series’ action has felt like one-shots — mini mysteries (or oddities) that our psychic detective must navigate. As the series continues, however, the reader wonders if Rossmo and Link have come to the realization that characters must develop, too. And if so, then issue #9, like the issue before it, seems committed to rounding out these characters and launching them on a new plot-driven adventure.
Most of issue #9 concerns a trio of child ghosts who want Drum dead. They chase him, poke him, and try to tie him up. As they torment him they share pieces of their back story, which offers this issue’s most delightful moment. Spliced within this drama is the real drama — Drum’s surrogate family is busy hashing out the details of this issue’s big reveal. If the reveal is not simply a red herring, then things will dramatically change for Drum. And this entire title.
Russmo’s art is gorgeous, and issue #9’s best moments are all visual. As I’ve said before, his paneling work deserves to be framed. The two-page spread that depicts the child killers chasing Drum a’la “Family Circus” style is particularly brilliant.
Go grab this thing today.