Story: GRIGORIS DOUROS
Art: KEVIN ENHART
With Additional Art By: NEWEL ANDERSON
Colours: JIMMY KERAST
Lettering: E.T. Dollman
Cover: KEVIN ENHART & NEWEL ANDERSON
Layout: JIMMY KERAST
For: ZENO TELOS PRESS
Editor: CHRIS DOUROS
Publisher: ALTERNA PRESS
Satanic Hell published by Alterna startsbeneath the blazing Texas sun as we follow the journey of Heavy Metal band Satanic Hell as they tour the US. The boys in the band are Exodus, Dante and Death Priest and they are in need of an anthem to go with their hellish vision.
Declaring itself the “abortion free state”(and proud!) Texas is quickly established as upholding every extreme stereotype and makes this journey instantly jarring. Bible quotes come blaring from gas station TVs, James 4:4 scrolls across billboards, non-Christian culture is illegal and the police motto is “To Serve And Protect Christ”.
On page 5 Exodus proudly states that their coming to the Lone Star State will cause demons to rise up and leave a trail of crucified cowboys. It appears that the opposite is true. Satanic Hell hasn’t come to Texas, Texas has come to Satanic Hell.
The comic’s most successful parts can be found in it’s subtlety. The oppressive atmosphere is fantastically captured by the gritty artwork and grungy backgrounds. The characters are interesting, none more so than Meli, a Dallas schoolgirl who is a secret fan of the band even though it is illegal.
The comic loses some of its edge when a brutal police scene intervenes, losing some of the subtlety and intervening in a disjointed way. The heart of the scariness comes from the fact that this fictional Texas could exist and you could find yourself driving there on the wrong side of the Law – just for wearing your favorite band t-shirt or having a lower than 98% church attendance.
A mix of Kevin Smith’s religious horror film Red State and Dante’s Inferno, Satanic Hell refreshingly showcases that it doesn’t have to be night time to be scary. If you like a brooding story that feels like we’re heading towards dark times then I’d recommend a read. I can’t wait for the next issue to see how the story progresses.