Sometimes you see a number and it gives you pause.
Were those sales/distribution numbers, that figure would place them squarely in the top 300 books for any given month, above titles from Dark Horse, Image, Boom, IDW, and many other publishers. Pretty impressive.
But, was the comic (and the music) any good?
As best I can tell, the comic was conceived by two of the band members (CM French and Joey Feldmen) while being written by newcomer Sam Scott and drawn by Russell Dauterman (The Mis-Adventures of Adam West) and it purports to give insight in to the band and the music. I’m not sure how successful it is on that front, but it is a fun romp of a comic.
According to French, “ I was into some comic books growing up, (still have the first few “Wolverine”s in mint condition)… which was part of my early evolution as an artist, but I lost touch with it all as a teenager – as I got more involved in music. ‘Annie Automatic: Killer In Disguise’ is my way of diving into the story of our main character, and connecting with kids on another level. I really wanted to be able to do it ourselves for fun and get it to people directly, without all the political nonsense of business involved. Getting it out there along with this new music too, I’m so excited to have been able to work with such talented friends and put something cool together that might be able to pull the readers and listeners into our world – where there’s never a shortage of action and mystery, and the soundtrack’s always moving in the background!”
We are dropped in the middle of something…mot exactly sure what. A group of men are anticipating the arrival of someone. Suddenly, in a flash of light, Annie appears. She is scared, surprised, and on the run. What follows is a twisted adventure where the reader and Annie are never sure who to trust and what exactly is real.
While it was a bit rough and confusing for the first couple of pages, the story eventually settled down and got interesting. There were twists and turns, and enough mystery to make me genuinely wonder what happens next!
My only real complaint about the book was the choice of coloring. It is a black and white book with pink accents. While the pink accents look cool in certain places (Annie’s sudden appearance for one), they are shockingly out of place in others (pink does not make for good blood splatter). I am not sure why there was the decision to use pink (other than everyone uses red, so this was something different) but it was a decision that might want to be revisited in later issues.
I say “later issues” because this is Issue #0 and there is so much left unresolved. I would say that the music would be a logical place to continue the story, but it does not appear that “Don’t Look Down” is a concept album. The band is going to gauge response from fans as to whether or not they continue the comics.
“Don’t look Down” is an easily enjoyable album of alternative rock in the vein of the Killers by way of Franz Ferdinand. The songs are lyrical as well as musical and require multiple listening sessions to truly suss out what is happening. “Burn This Prison”, “Don’t Look Down”, and “K.I.D” were my three favorite tracks on the disc, but all the tracks had merit.
You can find out more about Annie Automatic at their website. While you are there, you can listen to music, see videos, and get concert information. Unfortunately, you cannot get a copy of the comic. There is talk of it being available soon for iPads and digital download, but no firm details. So, the best chance you have right now is to see one of their shows and hopefully pick it up there!