Are you old enough to remember getting a comic, racing home from the shops, and then sitting spellbound as you leafed through the highly illustrated stories that sprung you from school into a fantasy world far removed from your own humdrum existence? Was it Marvel, DC, the Beano, or Roy of the Rovers? Well, whatever it was, there was something special about spending that time just soaking it all up.
Am I Evil? The Graphic Novel – Jack Mangan
Words: Paul Hutchings
So, it’s with a bit of resentment that I tell you that this review was done on a PDF version of Am I Evil? It doesn’t have the same feel, but there are good reasons for this, namely the necessity to fund the project.
A 2020 IndieGoGo campaign succeeded in raising funds to pay the artists and generate an Am I Evil? e-comic. Jack Mangan also wrote and released an accompanying 17,000-word novella to the supporters.
The goal of the 2023 campaign is to raise funds for a high-quality print run for readers and fans worldwide. Initially, the book will only be available to IndieGoGo backers, but a successful campaign will lead to greater availability options in online and local comic book retailers.
There are a whole host of names supporting this release. Drafted and created by author Jack Mangan (MetalAsylum.net, The Metal Hall of Fame) and working with Aurora Award-winning cover artist James F. Beveridge, and interior artist, Kyle Burles, this novel is unsurprisingly based on the classic Diamond Head song, which for many is a tad overplayed, but hell, that opening riff still gets the hair on my neck standing.
It’s a clever, twisted tale that weaves its way through 58 pages. Starting with the burning of the witch Lilleth, watched by her son, Vandr, the story unfolds in dramatic and sometimes graphic nature. The artwork is excellent and really embellishes the storyline. Such is the quality, this is something that you could return to for a further visit time and time again.
The storyline also provides such changes to expectations that I had to read it twice to fully understand the story. I won’t add spoilers, but there are some clever turns in the narrative, with many Diamond Head song titles and lyrics crafted throughout.
The print campaign went live on 6 June 2023 and will run through to early July. With support from such luminaries as Bobby Blitz (Overkill), Michael Alago (author, artist, former Elektra Records executive), Jack Frost (Seven Witches, Aldo Nova), Pat Gesualdo (CEO and founder of the Official Metal Hall of Fame), Scott Sigler (NYT Bestselling Horror author, bassist for Superweapon), Dobber and Cammie Beverly (Oceans of Slumber), and more.
With a bit of luck and support, there will soon be a print version to allow all to sit with a cuppa and enjoy this excellently created and unique piece of work.
More information on the project and ways you can help can be found at Indiegogo.com and www.amievil-graphicnovel.com. Diamond Head have given their full endorsement for this project. Tatler and Harris each already have copies.