Evie and the Helsings

Story by Steve Bryant
Pencils, Inks by Don Cardenas
Colors by Jason Millet
Edited by Chris Murrin

Visit Steve Bryant's webpage HERE for more information about getting the comic, and his other work.

Bang your head...

This was a neat idea that could've used some help in the concept phase. A hair-metal speed band "Evie and the Helsings" is trying to establish itself as a top crowd pleaser in the bar scene in and around Los Angeles (I'm presuming present day, but could be any era since the early 1980s). Evie, the front singer/guitarist is in steep competition from other bands such as "Satan's Children" and "The Cherry Bombs," the first of which wanted Evie's band to leave the stage early as they were doing too good as an opener.

Before that there was a scene with a woman in a dark night time Romania trying to kill 'Vlad' (three guesses) but gets thwarted by his henchmen. A stitched-together observer secretly goes off to L.A. the next day to inform Evie that her mother has died. Now she's on the hook to kill the vampires of the world. Like I said, cool idea and set up.

The problem with this comic is two fold. The first is editing. All this preliminary stuff could've been condensed in the concept phase, figuring out how many pages to dole out to this part of the story, leaving about 2/3 left to get on with Evie's adventures dealing with the vampires. I really like the idea of dark scary creatures for real lurking within the fake make-believe dark 'satanic' world of big hair bands.

Not hearing it.

The second problem is with music. As a comic creator you're really setting up yourself for a big struggle. For me, the best I can muster reading a comic with music in it is a kind of jangly 'la la la twang twang twang' mental sound that acts as a kind of filler or stand-in for the actual music. You have to go off the reservation with something like Jem and the Holograms in artistic outrageousness to plunge the reader into a music environment.

... but good set-up for ish 2!

Lastly, the one saving grace of this comic is I like it. I like the characters, and the concepts. There's a set up on the last page that goads the reader to want to read more of the story. This idea, a heavy metal band with a front singer à la Buffy who kills vampires is a great one. You could even include some of the silliness and absurdity of Heavy Metal as was done with great effect on Adult Swim's Metalocalypse show featuring Dethklok some years back. With the right artists, and some careful script editing steering away from overly music-heavy portions, you could have a really great comic.

Next Tuesday:

A distopian-future world story following a woman who is trying to rise up in the ranks by Dan Feuerriegel

Tim Larsen

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Felton CA 95018