Get A Grip

Sep 26, 2022

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The Roadie Cvr

While they can handle the strings, most people would not consider a roadie to be a master of puppets. Some may see them as slaves but they are responsible for holding the reigns and even reigning things in at times. Dark Horse Comics introduces readers to another role, and the rules, of The Roadie.

The Roadie #1

Dark Horse Comics

Script: Tim Seely
Art: Fran Galan
Letters: El Torres

The show gets off to a good start; Los Angeles, 1983. As Mass Acre prepares to play, the stage is set for both the performance and this comic. A line out the door only hints at the standing room crowd inside Whiskey A Go–Go. The Roadie begins with a grindhouse feel – like an 8mm shown on a drive-in screen. A groupie attempts to gain access to the rock stars, which gives Mr. Mass a chance to reveal a seldom spoken truth. That the band may play the music but The Roadie both sets the stage and runs the show.

The Roadie Int

Fran Galan gives the issue’s opening scenes a dive bar appeal. The rock band’s performance is dark, mimicking a poorly lit stage and a ritualistic summoning at the same time. Capturing the mesmerizing melodies of the music as a manifestation occurs – it’s shadowy image easily mistaken by the crowd as being a trick of the stages lights

Portions of The Roadie feel more like arriving during sound check. For those who have experienced this, that isn’t a truly bad thing. A chance to check out the setup allows the reader to understand what Joe D. does and how. Joe D. resembling John Winchester makes it seem this book will have a Supernatural appeal. The comic’s pacing and ability to amplify established lore make this something of a jam session with that show. This series focuses on the established battle of good and evil, between heaven and hell, and how rock was a weapon in that war.

The Roadie makes a pit stop to give another devil their due. While The Satan is responsible for “Rock”, there are other devils in this book’s details. The seductive Meridiana appears during Joe D.’s intermission – the indigo emanation using our lusts as her lover, The Satan, uses our lyrics. But Galan keeps the sex light and allows the auburn dream sequence merely seduce Joe D. back onto the road.

Josef Deseptum makes it clear that the only music for him is Rock. But while Joe D. loves the music, the story shows that these band’s songs are more than words. The Satan was okay with letting them be used to rock, but now words are causing a rot. It’s up to The Roadie to keep the rock of ages rolling down the highway to hell.

Score: 8.9

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