The 13 Frights of Halloween- Black Cat Social Club
Welcome to the 13 Frights of Halloween, the series where I share 13 comics that are spooky, creepy, unsettling, and much more. Tonight’s feature is a Pop-punk Apocalypse with Black Cat Social Club, an original graphic novel (OGN) by Christopher Painter, Bob Quinn, and Meg Casey & Fred C. Stresing.
Black Cat Social Club
Written by Christopher Painter
Illustrated by Bob Quinn
Colors by Meg Casey and Fred C. Stresing
Letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Who Knew Selling Out Meant Selling Out One’s Soul
The Black Cat Social Club is a pop-punk band that consists of three members that are also a coven. The band specializes in Magical Music–a fusion. They are trying to land their big break and getting rejected every time they turn around. However, this changes when the bassist sells her soul in exchange for success beyond their wildest dreams. The catch is that the energy the demons are harvesting from the bands rampant success is driving the literal apocalypse.
Witness as the Black Cat Social Club wrestles with the forces of Hell, record companies, and still try to win a battle of the bands.
Art is Full Of Pop-Punk Energy
Black Cat Social Club takes advantage of the OGN format and the pacing it entails. The story is a combination of mystical fun and pop-punk rock energy. The band members’ designs from Quinn are positively great. Each member has a distinct look and silhouette that suit each of their personalities. Quinn’s artwork here is delightful across the board as it is popping off the page with the punk rock energy that is demanded for this kind of comic.
This is accomplished by the wide variety of perspectives and layouts. Quinn’s figure work is often dynamic and expressive that each of the character’s moods are conveyed in the body language and not the text. Casey and Stresing’s color compliments Quinn’s art in such a dynamic way. The color palette is spooky, supernatural, and energetic.
Otsmane-Elhaou really hits it out of the park with the lettering Quinn’s art and Otsmane-Elhaous lettering marry together to give this strictly visual-based medium, that we all love called comics, and gives it aspects of auditory stimulation. You may not be able to hear the band play their music but you sure can see the energy and power of it as it rumbles throughout their world. All of this leads to ethereal experiences that are pleasure to read.
The Power (pop) of Friendship
Chris Painter’s writing is enjoyable here. Painter comes from the world of Television with credits including Squirrel boy, Tom and Jerry Tales, and more. He does well portraying the dynamics of a young band trying to make it big but also dealing with multiple Faustian bargains for their souls. There is a B-plot involving one of the band member’s dad, who is essentially a Silicon valley corporate executive, that intersects with the main plot nicely. Each member’s personality is distinct and doesn’t fall into the trap of them fighting over a boy or something. Instead, its about the power of friendship. That is punk rock.
My only knock on the comic is that the evils of Hell are presented in a corporate office structure. While Hell as a Corporate Office is a very familiar (and somewhat tiring) trope, it makes sense that Hell is a middle-management nightmare. I worked in retail sales before. It even works well in the story to compliment the CEO Father storyline. Yet, I am tired of seeing as its been in most media renditions of Hell in the last 20 years. That said, don’t let that one minor aspect of the comic detract from an overall good read.
Final Thoughts, Links, and More!
If you are looking for a fun book about the power of friendship, Faustian Bargains, and the Apocalypse this Halloween. Check out Black Cat Social Club. You can find Black Cat Social Club on ComiXology Unlimited and Hoopla as well as your favorite book retailer.
For more of The 13 Frights of Halloween, click here.