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“Freakenstein: L.A. Screaming!”

A Review by Noise Pollution

Have you ever been in a situation where your senses have been assaulted and you loved it? That crazy roller coaster ride, or a 5D experience at a theme park, or moshing at a festival on a stinking hot day, sprayed by the hoses and having stinky fellow pit people smash into you?
That’s how I felt reading “Freakenstein: L.A. Screaming!”, a hot of the press comic book release from Jesse Dracman.
Who is this upstart to the comic world and how dare he release a comic out of nowhere?!
Jesse is the lead singer of Brisbane metal band “Darkcell”. During the bananavirus pandemic, Jesse turned his considerable creative flair towards writing several books – “Freakenstein” (a book version for the same universe as this comic), “A Furious Tale” (inspired by the movie “The Warriors”) and its follow up “Furies Revenge”. So, he’s got unquestioned form when it comes to creative exploits.
But, back to the comic. If you’ve read “Freakenstein”, you’ll be right at home. You’ll settle into the groove of the comic immediately. If you haven’t read it, you’ll quickly be whipped away into a reality where people are turned into zombies through nefarious music, apps and social media. It’s a statement about how people can be turned into zombies by looking at screens and not at the world around them.
The book of the same name and this comic were taken from Jesse’s tour notes from when the band conquered the USA. He then added, stretched and manipulated that reality into a compelling altered state whose ingredients were the occult, gore, retribution and a struggle for what is right.
It was also an oblique commentary about music that folks who “feel” music understand innately. That it’s about the soul, rather than the plastic. There were numerous pop culture quotes and these blended seamlessly with lyrics of Darkcell songs. This had me hunting for other subtle bits of humour, of which there were many. A monstrous version of the Spice Girls made my day!
The illustrations were not hyper realistic, allowing me to add my take on them. I also appreciated the myriad styles within them, as some had no shading, others were silhouettes. The illustrations told the bulk of the story, again allowing me to add my take on things. This was clever and very much appreciated. If I’m in the mood to read, there’s plenty of other options from Mr Dracman in his books.
The different panel sizes of the illustrations, as well as their composition, were done well, conveying intense movement and depth of emotion. These visually encapsulating offerings had me scouring the images for nuance, as well as occasionally lingering on some particularly gory details. I venture that there will be many a tattoo taken from these pages...
I was also enthused to see at the end that there were promises of adventures to come in other settings adds an element of expectation.
So, back to the previous question. Who is this upstart Jesse Dracman and what gives him the gall to release a comic? This comic was a grand adventure, well paced and containing a balance of old themes that were faithfully executed and some shocking and/ or hilarious surprises. This was a comic crafted by someone who understands and respects this genre. This whole rollicking journey felt like innovation, not regurgitation - a new idea, crafted with honesty.
Speaking of honesty and integrity, these 25 pages of mischief were funded ethically. Jesse spent many hours traipsing across Brisbane, collecting recycling and using this to fund this venture. A number of supporters also got behind this project, helping to make it a reality.
This added weight to this publication. It’s ethical, sustainable and a message to us all: that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, that if we can dream it, we can achieve it.
9/10
Want more? Head on over to freekproductions.com to grasp your own copies of any of the above bits of mayhem, as well as to access the blog, which shares the background to the creative process. These are also available in digital form on Amazon/Kindle. But, this dinosaur will get a paper version. I saw what happened to those who used screens in this comic…
The architects:
The writer: Jesse Dracman
Artist: Pristianyuli
Layouts: Aaron Sammut (if you haven’t grabbed a copy of the two “Maurice and the Metal” comics, then you bloody well should!)
There are two versions of the comic - the one with the the red lettering is a limited run. The green page is shared by both.

Freakin’ Awesome: Freakenstein #1 Review

Freakenstein #1 reviewed by Jerome
@ https://comx.net.au/

    Publisher:
    Story:
    Writer/s:
    Artist/s:
    Pristianyuli
    Inker/s:
    Pristianyuli
    Colourist/s:
 
    Letterer/s:
 
    Cover Artist/s:
    Pristianyuli

 

Metal, guts, gore, and zombies. It’s a good day when a comic book ticks all these boxes for me, and today’s a good day.

Freakenstein #1 is as crazy as it gets, with its Justice League Dark meets Metalocalypse meets DCeased type of gig. It’s as awesome as it gets, and you’ll find yourself enjoying the wildest ride of your life.

Freaks of Nature At the End of the World: The Story and Writing of Freakenstein #1

freakenstein-1-splash

Freakenstein #1 is an Australian comic book published by Freek Productions. The story is written by Jesse Dracman, with art from Pristianyuli and layouts by Aaron Sammut.

Freakenstein follows the character of the same name as he moves around a post-apocalyptic landscape of zombies. The zombies here are not like your typical ones, as many of them were infected by a social media and music app.

The protagonist himself hides a freaking awesome secret as he culls down the horde. As he moves about, he discovers more people like himself and how they’re surviving throughout the scorched landscape.

The writing of Freakenstein is among the most fun things I’ve read in a while. It’s neither the deepest nor the most eloquent comic book out there. Heck, it’s not even the least bogan script I’ve read over the past month.

None of that matters here.

Freakenstein is a perfectly paced action comic that goes balls deep in making sure the reader gets their money’s worth. It’s fun, cool, and fiddles the fantastic trappings of a post-apocalyptic story gone wild.

Freakenstein himself is a lot of things to a lot of people. To himself, he’s just a cool lad looking to break zombie skulls. The movement of the story is quite good, albeit a little too straight forward.

The entire premise of the story is similar to that of Tom Taylor’s DCeased, where humanity became mindless zombie-like creatures because of the internet. Here, Jesse makes a point to use the “technology makes us zombies” as literal as it can be.

Even then, this story is not even near the saga that DCeased is, and it shouldn’t be. It’s a fun comic of a guy killing randos and treating his new world of the zombie plague. With all the popped eyeballs and the smashed skulls, it’s impossible not to love it.

Even if the story feels mindless at face value, it’s the intangibles that will make you fall in love with it. Jesse made sure to start the story at 100% energy and push it past its limit and create a crescendo of events.

Every page you turn, a new surprise happens. It’s bonkers and anyone who gets bored of this story needs some new stitches on their funny bone. 

Speaking of picking bones, if there’s anything the story is missing, it’s mostly general direction. I understand that the story is trying to establish how cool the characters are, but a more coherent narrative direction will help the next chapter if it ever comes.

Maximum Chaos: The Art of Freakenstein #1

freakenstein-1-body

The art of Freakenstein #1 is among my favourites within the stories I’ve reviewed and read, with Wizard of O2 and The Wrath of the Cursed among the others. Even then, whoever Pristianyuli is likely enjoyed illustrating this comic book.

Much of the pencilling and inking feels fresh and action-packed, with every motion and splatter drawn to perfection. Much of the art reminds me of technical pen art, with thin outlines here and there and inked with a black permanent marker.

The art could’ve worked better with a little splash of colour at some point. A colourist can enhance the entire thing; make it feel more alive and grisly. A zombie story like this can even work better just by adding reds to make the blacks stand out.

At the same time, I understand the death metal aesthetic that they’re trying to achieve. I can also see how Pristianyuli kept some intricate pencil designs uninked, especially the floral prints on Chippy’s shirt. Whether these are remnants they had no time to remove or intentionally left there adds to the texture of the art.

The storyboard style looks grungy, but the layouts done by Maurice and the Metal’s Aaron Sammut put everything in its rightful place. The chaos is enough to make the pace as fast as it can be without making it a mess.

Is Freakenstein #1 A Must Read?

Should you read Freakenstein #1? This story is a fun roller coaster death metal adventure into zombie land. If you love your blood, guts, and gore, you’d love this comic.

The entire thing is a trip from start to finish, so you’ll enjoy it for sure. Give Freakenstein a ride. It’s worth every dollar you have in your pocket.


Rating: 4.3/5

Review by http://allabouttherock.co.uk/

Let’s get down to it boppers. 

Darkcell frontman puts pen to paper again. This time for a bit of fan fiction based in The Warriors (the cult classic 1979 gang movie) universe entitled A Furious Tale. 

Set 40 years after the movie and following the exploits of The Baseball Furies, and as you’d expect, this is a fairly violent tale of one man’s exploration into why he has all this burning rage. 

Jesse says, ‘
For me, The Warriors is a movie that sits high among definitive tales that tell a real story. I was mesmerised by Walter Hill’s vision of this epic saga of a lone gang fighting their way home against incredible odds. The gangs weren’t just ordinary ‘run of the mill’ gangs that we see in today’s world. These gangs had a code and wore their badges with honour. One gang that stood out was The Baseball Furies. These guys were so fascinating at a time when KISS reigned supreme. Their look was perfect. Baseball uniforms, KISS inspired war paint, right down to the wooden baseball bats. They spoke no words and the theme music in their sequence was the cherry on top. Sadly, whilst they were beaten by the heroes of the movie, for me they were still bad ass. ‘

and it’s easy to tell Jesse is a fan of the original movie and book (as I am dear reader) as the story comes from a place of love and not designed to piss anyone off (unlike other fan fiction).

Just like Mr. Dracmans other short novella Freakenstein, the words come alive. He has a wonderful way with prose. 

Even tho this is only available as a digital file, it’s still a page turner. It’s like being on an emotion version of the Coney Island Cyclone rollercoaster (exciting, yet slightly unstable).

I’m sure if Sol Yuric (the original author) was still alive, he’d be proud that his creation had inspired this piece of work. 

 
It’s a highly recommended read and just like a sick pet, it’s hard to put down.

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