Comic Review: ‘Kill Audio’

kill audioKill Audio #1 – Boom! Studios – $3.99

Score: 8.5

Back at San Diego Comic-Con, I had the pleasure of sitting down to talk to Claudio Sanchez, lead singer of Coheed and Cambria and writer of the Amory Wars about his upcoming comic release from Boom! Studios entitled Kill Audio. Check out the interview here (Part 1 and Part 2).  This week, Kill Audio hit shelves and delivered upon what we were expecting from my talk with Claudio and brought a whole lot more to the table as well.

In addition to the knives that through knives, the angry and unstable lead character who cannot die and is constantly haunted by the Fix-ler who is always trying to kill him and of course the jive talking, blow snorting chicken that Claudio had talked to us about, Kill Audio also brings to life a plethora of new and outrageous characters in a complete insane fantasy world that felt like a mix of the land of Brutal Legend and Oz (from both the classic Judy Garland film and the HBO jail series scarily enough).

The issue starts off with the title character Kill Audio running from knives that throw knives before he is pulled “out of harm’s way” by the Fix-ler. After failing yet again to off Kill Audio, they have a brief conversation that sets Kill Audio off on his Wizard of Oz-like journey to search for his higher purpose. Along the way, he encounters Chi-co, the above mentioned constantly hallucinating coke addicted poultry, in his efforts to reach the Watchtower. Also on the way, the duo is joined by the Beav, who looks like a drunken prodigal son of Death, and his little pillow companion DJ.

On their way to the Watchtower to find their purpose from its operator Clockwork, the group has a series of encounters that pay homage to the classic Wizard of Oz tale, including a not so subtle reference of a non-present yellow brick road for those who hadn’t picked up on the comparison. Along the way, the issue is filled with music references like “The Humpty Dance”, much in the same style as Phonogram was but easier to follow since it isn’t always obscure British pop and dance music.

Kill Audio isn’t exactly a book I’d hand to younger readers, not so much for the violence since kids are so desensitized to that already anyway in comics. The EXTREME drug references and fairly blatant sexual innuendo however would be too much for a young reader. Seeing a chicken almost bleed from the eyes and try to sodomize a broken down car because he is so high could scar a young mind. Thankfully those of us on The Flickcast were scarred years ago so we are able to look past it no problem.

The artwork of the issue has an awesome visual style. The black, white, gray and red tones fit this anti-psychedelic world perfectly. Seeing Chi-co’s view of the world change from what is really happening to what is going on in his coked up skull is done very well with the stark red backgrounds that invade the scenes to let the reader know that they are in for a surprise when they see what Chi-co is actually doing, holding, eating or humping.

All the character concepts have a unique feel as no two characters are anything alike. Throwing out “real world” rules of anatomy, physics and mechanical engineering, Kill Audio has created a lush and full world of drastically different characters and places for our freaked out foursome to traverse.

Kill Audio has done a great job of bringing a world to life of a very imaginative individual like Claudio Sanchez. His pairing with artist Mr. Sheldon take an extremely different and complex world and bring it to the next level visually. Just telling someone this story wouldn’t do it justice. Kill Audio comes across as a story that is meant for the comic book medium because of this. This title should be on the “try out” part of everyone’s Pull List moving forward.

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