House of Gold and Bones "Overture," is the first part of Corey Taylor's (Slipknot, Stone Sour) first foray into sequential art in collaboration with Dark Horse Comics. "Overture" tells the tale of a man out of place, way out of place. Journeying through a strange landscape upon which he awakes after experiencing "fire, pain, and confusion," "Zero" (as his work suit's name tag reads) is pursued by demonic presences, meets his own reverse doppelganger, and sets out upon a quest to find the House of Gold and Bones in what appears to be "Hell's version of Chicago." Is Zero dead, dreaming, or just on a really, really bad trip? Taylor gives us a few clues, but little by way of answers...and that's just what an overture should do.
Filled with supernatural imagery, albeit non-religious specific or iconographic, House of Gold and Bones #1 reads like a bad nightmare of spiritual proportions. Zero is pursued by shadowy elements of his subconscious/afterlife and begins a quest, a quest that he honestly doesn't know the outcome of. Will it save him from the horror he is now living through, or lead to more torment? While Taylor's story appears to be a straightforward quest story, the "Overture" gives me the feeling that there will be some sidetracks along the way. Much of the imagery from the albums House of Gold and Bones Part 1 and 2 are given life here as well, and it is fun to pick out the images in "Overture" that match the lyrics of the double album.
Artist Richard Clark brings "Overture" to life steadily if not too imaginatively. His artwork is nearly flawless and beautiful. He also does an excellent job of conveying Zero's moods and emotions through his facial expressions, there just isn't much unique in the setting of "Overture" that allows Clark to indulge his imagination. Perhaps when Zero reaches the "Hell's version of Chicago" things will get more interesting visually.
Overall, Taylor proves once again that he is a man of talents, a jack of all trades if you will. House of Gold and Bones #1 is like most of Stone Sour's music. They're good, and fun to read/listen too, but not very groundbreaking. It is honest and direct though, and therein lies its merit.