With it’s middle finger extended, a groupie on it’s lap, and a needle in it’s arm, Rock ‘n’ Roll lives by it’s clichés --- a fact that the Brazilian trio of Mateus Santolouco, Eduardo Medeiros and Rafael Albuquerque are willing to embrace. According to their black and white import titled “Mondo Urbano,” rock music isn’t just associated with sex and drugs, it’s made a pact with the devil to keep it that way.
“Mondo Urbano” follows several stories, but the link to all these tales of ruin is a fictional lead singer named Van Hudson. Hudson is a womanizer, a drug abuser, and an attention whore. He’s also an unstoppable megastar. Swarms of long-haired fans rush to purchase his latest album and race to see him in concert. Sure, his lead guitarist and “girlfriend” have grown to despise him, but Hudson could care less…he’s a golden god.
As is the rite of passage for all rock legends, Hudson is found dead in a hotel bathroom. As the large cast of characters begin to intersect, the mystery of who killed Van Hudson becomes less important and the mystery of who was Van Hudson becomes much more significant. The classic rock n’ roll tale of a “punk kid who just wanted to play guitar” takes a supernatural turn, swallowing his fans, his bandmates, his manager, and his groupies (appropriately drawn to emulate your favorite Suicide Girl) into Satan’s unending quest to corrupt human souls.
The premise behind “Mondo Urbano: A Tale of Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll” may seem too busy at first glance (characters tend to clock in and clock out like some sort of “Pulp Fiction”-styled crime anthology) but Medeiros, Albuquerque, and Santolouco fill the book with energy and reverence. They’ve latched onto the line that rock ‘n’ roll is the “devil’s music” and have began building a potential universe around it. Thankfully, (if the final pages are any indication) the Brazilian trio is already hard at work on an encore.
Troy-Jeffrey Allen writes mean things to maintain his sanity. He is a comic book writer as well as an entertainment critic for OfNote Magazine, Forces of Geek, and Comic Book Bin. He has a cardboard box he calls home at www.TypographicEra.com.