Review: Satanic Hell #2 / Author: Grigoris Douros / Art: Kevin Enhart, Jimmy Kerast / Publisher: Zeno Telos Press / Release Date: Out Now / Available from: www.satanichell.com
In a near future dystopia, Texas is run by a council of religious fanatics. Into this uptight environment comes the subtly named heavy metal band Satanic Hell. The rockers become an immediate hit, much to the ire of the Texas Council of Churches. Those kids and their pesky rock music, eh. Satanic Hell is like Dogma crossed with Footloose.
As a comic book fan with an enormous preference for a tangible format, I find digital books very difficult to get into. There's nothing like holding the humble comic book in your hands, flipping through the pages at a leisurely pace; letting the imagery and script sink in. I can look at pictures on a computer screen at any time. I read comics to get away from that. So reading Satanic Hell, I could sympathise with the uptight Council of Churches and their attitude to Satanic Hell. I looked at this digital comic and thought, “heathens!”
The format aside (one man's racket is another man's rock, after all) Satanic Hell makes for an interesting read. Despite the fact that not much at all happens within this second issue, it does a good job in world and atmosphere building. It feels like a horror comic even though no overt horror is ever shown. The art, by Kevin Enhart and Jimmy Kerast is similar to Ben Templesmith's work in 30 Days of Night, particularly in the colouring. It seems a little amateurish and awkward at times, but gets the job done just fine. It would certainly be fun to see what the artists can make of any real horror or action that might come their way in future issues.
I didn't read the previous issue, nor did I know anything about the comic before I clicked open the first page, but this second instalment had me hooked enough to seek out both the first and any subsequent issues. There's room for improvement – in this case, turning the dial up to eleven might not do anyone any harm – but Satanic Hell is funky enough to have you tapping your foot along to the groove.