Review - Bandthology

Anthologies typically give readers a look at a smattering of different stories. Those stories will often have a thread holding them all together and, in the case of Bandthology from King Bone Press, that thread is being in a band.

The anthology is broken into short stories. The first is "Breakout," written by Wendi Freeman and featuring art by Mat Nixon. The story follows an intergalactic band, desperately trying to catch a break. At one performance though, one of the band members decides to shower the audience with affection, which leads to his arrest and their subsequent fugitive state.

The second story is "The Beast in Me" by Dan Dougherty. It's about a guitartist in a band, recalling the trials and tribulations of the gig. His recounting seems to follow the fairly typical band lifecycle, all of his attention though is paid to feeding a "beast." The beast wants fame, money...everything.

The third story is called "Closet Musicians," written and illustrated by Matt Collander. Probably the shortest of all the stories, it's basically two guys making music and getting pissed when someone wants to buy it.

The fourth story is called "The Devil's Beat," written and drawn by Andy Vanderbilt. This story has a feel to it similar to that of Scott Pilgrim, with a drummer infusing his musical talent with a martial arts flair. It's even illustrated in a similar fashion.

"Devils Food vs. Mississippi Mud" is the fifth story. It's about a piece of cake battling a piece of pie in a band competition. It's all pastries, but the story ends like so many other rival band stories.

Following that is the sixth story, "Anti-Hero in Death of a Frontman." It features the talents of Westhoff and Ornelas telling the tale of a murder conspiracy. The conspiracy sounds a lot more dramatic than it actually ends up being, with the band looking to redefine themselves in the wake of some rather humorous "incidents."

There is some art imitating life in these stories. All of them seem to showcase some aspect of being in a band that happens at some point or another. The difference is that they're all told through different prisms of band membership. The stories aren't really groundbreaking per se, but they do offer rather lighthearted takes on some headier stuff.

The art is sort of all over the place and that's not necessarily a bad thing. There are a lot of different artists involved in this one and the range goes from what's essentially bare pencils to more elaborate inks. It's all black and white as well, adding an up and coming band feel to the proceedings.

The collection of band related short stories is amusing. It's really just looking at what it takes to be in a band and it does so all in good fun. It's a fairly quick read and those with experience in small bands will likely appreciate a lot of it.

Bandthology is available now.