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Coheed And Cambria

The Second Stage Turbine Blade (Comic Book)

www.coheedandcambria.com


Whether or not you enjoy the music that Coheed And Cambria make, at each and every turn that the band makes, one is required to give a nod toward their ambition and creativity. This visual adaptation of their recordings is exactly the kind of thing that will always set Claudio Sanchez and Co. apart from just about every other rock band in the world. What Sanchez has set about to do in this comic is somewhat straightforward in theory: create a visual representation of what the songs on his records mean to him. Possibly, explain a little bit of the fragmented and strange ideas that have hitherto been presented.

Let me get 2 things straight. First, I have never been a fan of Coheed and Cambria. Their cross of indie rock with punk rock has never appealed to me for more than just a casual listen here and there. Second, I grew up reading comic books, and am a huge fan of the genre for developing creative skills in young minds, as well as fostering open expression of ideas.

All that said, I was so very impressed with this graphic novel of The Second Stage Turbine Blade that I had to go back and listen to the record to see how I had missed some of the things that I had obviously missed. Well, I felt good about the exercise, because as far as I can still tell, I missed nothing. So, I decided to go about this comic the way that I think I should… as a stand-alone creative masterpiece for Claudio Sanchez. I have to separate it from the record and simply enjoy it on its own. Which is very easy.

The storyline in TSSTB is a bit convoluted. More than once I found myself going back and re-reading a few pages before moving on. At this point, I should mention that you will most likely not feel any real satisfaction at the end of the book, since this is merely the first in a hopefully long string of books. So, it is the beginning of the story of Coheed Kilgannon and his wife Cambria. I don't want to give away details of the story, as I feel that there is an immense amount of mystique and tension in the story, and I don't wish to ruin that for anyone. But the basic outline runs along the line of the stories protagonist Coheed being forced to make startling realizations about his metahuman origins, and the consequences of those. Forced to make difficult decisions while struggling with the reality of his lack of memories, Coheed is instantly familiar to the reader, and becomes a tragic hero before the end of this first book.

The graphics, as drawn by Wes Abbott, are incredible, and the visual appeal of the comic is enough to keep me on the edge of my seat for the next installment alone. The lines are clean, the style dark, and the general feeling is a mix between classic comics and the newer generation of "graphic novels". The format is comfortable and easy to read for older and younger comic fans.

The first segment of this story arc consists of six issues of the comic, which will be gathered and released in book form at the conclusion, based around the events of the record, The Second Stage Turbine Blade, released in 2002. In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3 will also be adapted into comic form after that, comprising another 6 issue arc.

Suffice to say, I can hardly wait.

-Embo Blake


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