Today I’m reviewing an interesting new project. Earlier this year the rock band EVANESCENCE released their fourth all-original album THE BITTER TRUTH. Along with this album they’re releasing a comic-book anthology series, in which they’ll feature original stories inspired by songs from the album. Pretty cool concept, eh? And when I heard that in this first issue one of the stories would be written by one of my favorite writers, Blake Northcott, of course I had to order it!
The first story adapted in this issue is based on the song WASTED ON YOU.
I don’t need drugs
I’m already six feet low
Wasted on you
Waiting for a miracle
I can’t move on
Feels like we’re frozen in time
I’m wasted on you
Just pass me the bitter truth
Written by Blake, I can probably best describe this 15-page story as being like a dark gothic twisted take on Alice In Wonderland. We meet an unnamed woman who is in a very unsatisfying personal relationship. She’s miserable and just wants to numb her pain with prescription drugs. A ghostly spirit appears before her and transports her to another land, a magical but bleak place full of similarly dispirated people who faced emotional pain in life and decided to give up rather than face it. A mystical guide informs the woman that she’s going to need to literally face her inner demons if she wants to escape back to the real world, or she can just stay where she is and wander around going nowhere, like the rest of the poor souls. But she needs to decide quickly, before it’s too late.
This story was nice and spooky, I loved it. Blake’s talent for writing dialog really shines in the conversations she has with her “spirit guide”, I guess you’d call it. Abigail Larson illustrates the story and her style perfectly captures the bleak hopelessness that our heroine finds herself in. Jacob Bascle is the letterer, and he wisely uses different styles for the speech of each character in the story, which also helps fit the tone. Altogether this creative team works so well on this story that I’d love to see the three of them collaborate again.
The second story is based on the song BETTER WITHOUT YOU.
As empires fall to pieces
Our ashes twisting in the air
It makes me smile to know that
I’m better without you
This 23-page story is written by Carrie Lee South (who is the sister of Evanescence lead-singer Amy Lee, and doesn’t appear to have any social media presence that I could find). This one is hard to discuss without spoilers. I’ll just say that it involves a woman named Nara who suddenly finds herself vividly revisiting some of her happiest memories of her life, from childhood to adulthood. At first it’s peaceful, but then the memories begin to take a darker turn. What’s going on? Is she dreaming? Hallucinating? Dead? Well, you’ll have to read to find out. But before it’s over Nara learns an important lesson about how joy and pain are both equally important parts of life. Kelly McKernan provides the artwork, and they have a unique style that looks more like painting than traditional comic-book artwork (perhaps it is?), and they manage to subtly change their style as the memories change, it’s very effective. Jacob Bascle does the lettering for this story too.
Two great stories in one comic, I believe this issue will be enjoyable to fans and non-fans of Evanescence alike. Highly recommended. Chacebook rating: FIVE STARS
Buying it may be a bit complicated at the moment. I pre-ordered a copy from THIS WEBSITE. I got a special “First Print Limited Edition”, I don’t know if that means there are any copies left available, or if you may have to wait until they release a cheaper second printing. I guess check out the CONTACT page for more info.
Categories: BLAKE NORTHCOTT