DISCLAIMER: Vermillion the comic book and the music that inspired it is of an explicit and graphic nature. This article is written with respect to comicbookcurious.com and that of its readers. The writer has taken measures to ensure that it will be “all audience friendly.” Should you find interest in pursuing the art referenced hereafter, it is implored that consumer discretion be advised.
Behemoth Entertainment, is a multi media distribution company and independent comic publisher based out of Dallas, Texas. Since discovering them through my local comic shop, Dragon’s Lair Hawaii, LLC, I have read some of the hardest hitting, boundary pushing stories with the most striking “black and white and red all over” art that I have come across in a very long time (p.s. kudos & extra to you if you catch the reference;))! Vermillion #0, with art and writing by São Paulo, Brazil native, Bräo, does not disappoint in this respect!
The story is told in the POV of the main character. It starts off in a crowded nightclub-esque setting. It is quickly established that the main character is a regular. And so is “she.” Wasting very little time the story escalates with every turn of the page and the haunting art coupled with the maddening, yet somewhat familiar, script makes you question your own sanity by the end of this psychological roller-coaster!
Having a background in animation and art direction, Bräo, the writer/artist of Vermillion has more recently been able to take his passion over to graphic novel and sequential art/comic book form. His flair for more explicit and gory content makes it exclusively for adult audiences and definitely not for the faint of heart. However, if you can look beyond the surface, you will find a very deep message that I feel a lot people would be able to relate to.
Bräo ends the book with an afterward that reveals the story is inspired by his personal interpretation of “Vermillion parts 1 and 2” by the heavy metal band Slipknot, and the impact they on him. Hence the familiarity with some of the more repetitive lines in the narrative! He continues by saying that these songs have helped him through some very difficult times in his life. With this book, Bräo’s intent was to share an homage to the music and give an open-ended presentation that allows infinite interpretations of both works.
Slipknot themselves are no strangers to mental health awareness, let alone ongoing debate about the inspiration and “true meaning” of their lyrics. In researching this article, I came across a slew of conspiracy theories about what Vermillion parts 1 and 2 mean. From drug addiction to a slight against a narcissistic ex, the list goes on. The greatest and worst thing about an idea is how quickly it can take on a life of its own!
I, myself, have found solace in many a Slipknot song, facing very real themes that really only live in my head. Hearing those ideas echoing in the piercing vocals of Corey Taylor, I can no longer believe that I am the only one going through this. Someone, somewhere, knows pain like I do and is choosing to continue to fight. We are not alone. We don’t have to fight alone.
A special thanks to Dragon’s Layer Hawaii, LLC for always taking a chance on the little guys, Behemoth Comics and Entertainment for being one of those little guys, Bräo for being brave enough to share that part of you through your beautiful art, Slipknot for continuing to be the “Voice Of The Maggots!” and last but most definitely not the least, you, the reader, for taking the time to read my own journey and self discovery through the art and stories of others. May this help you in yours.
May you find your voice in whatever form it comes. May it remind you that you are not alone. We are with you, fighting the same fight! Thank you for being you. The world is a better place because you are in it, exactly the way you are.
Until next time, Malama Pono (take care) and, as always,
Mahalo for reading,
-Kk is a Native Hawaiian writer, comic book geek, and gym rat with a background in music/performing arts, MMA and security services. His driving passions today are storytelling in all it’s forms, physical fitness for mental health and especially in raising mental health awareness. ;igy6