Plot: Kill Audio finds out who he is and finally gets his task: to capture music genres like an audio Ghostbusters to preserve the limits on creativity in the world of Sight & Sound. In other words, we get a better idea of what the series is supposed to be about.
Comments: Kill Audio may have lost me on page seven of issue #1 when the main character (an immortal troll drawn to look like a chibi version of Claudio Sanchez) reveals that his name is the title of the book. Oh. Kill Audio, Claudio. I get it.
Granted, Kill Audio isn’t Sanchez’ first foray into comics, but it still reeks of vanity project, especially because Kill Audio the character feels a bit superfluous in an ensemble that includes a gangsta chicken, a talking newspaper, and a grim reaper in a beaver costume. A troll with funny hair just pales in comparison.
There’s also something extremely grating about a musician doing a comic where music is at the core of the premise. Not even Fall Out Toy Works was based around music, and the Fall Out Boy brand was in the title of the thing. The whole premise of Kill Audio, which involves an oppressive government that limits music and creativity, is a touch too reminiscent of that Styx album Kilroy Was Here, and no decent comic book should ever remind me of Styx. I thought these things were about escapism. It doesn’t help that the script, by Sanchez and wife Chondra Echert, is aggressively unfunny, featuring an unironic use of “By the power of Greyskull” as an exclamation and displaying an almost compulsive tendency to point out some of its bad jokes.
This is especially irritating when the script seems to be commenting on the art. When the gangsta chicken points out that his egg-firing machine gun is a stupid idea, it reads as if Sanchez and Echert were spitting in the face of Kill Audio’s only saving grace--the manic art of Mr. Sheldon (a.k.a. Sheldon Vella), Australia’s drunken answer to Corey Lewis. Sheldon draws with a snotty exaggeration that doesn’t skimp out on meticulous detail, such as in the inspired design of Sight & Sound leader Clockwork, whose body is full of dozens of turning gears.
Shame the art is rendered in Hot Topic friendly grey and red hues that make Kill Audio feel too busy posturing with the color palette of Sin City to have any fun. A look at Mr. Sheldon’s Zuda webcomic Supertron (it’s free!) reveals that his art takes on a truly special quality when rendered in trippy fluorescent colors.
Kill Audio is a very annoying comic, but not only for its content. What really bothers is the very obvious ways it could have been improved--a brighter color palette and the removal of any word that isn’t a sound effect.
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