Creating and sharing stories is a fundamental part of human society, dating back to neanderthals drawing on cave walls to share how awesome it was when they totally killed that sabretooth tiger who was all up in their business.
Over the years, this evolved (along with language) into songwriting, which for the most part is just another way of telling stories that people can relate to. Musicians and comics have a long history together, dating back to Marvel’s KISS and Alice Cooper comics, and evolving to today’s comic industry that sees a large number of musicians tackling a new medium in which to tell their stories. Most recently we’ve seen DMC enter the comics world by storm with his new series DMC, with a new writing gig at Marvel coming soon.
Below is a list of 10 Musicians and the stories that made their way to the wonderful world of comics.
One of the more recent musicians to bring their unique style to comics is Corey Taylor, who is best known as the front man of both Slipknot and Stone Sour. His comic House of Gold & Bones shares its title and plot with the 2012 album from Stone Sour, and was published by Dark Horse Comics in 2013. It follows the Human on his quest for the House while plagued by a crazed mob and moments of self discovery.
The talented guitarist from Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave has been writing the Dark Horse series Orchid for a few years, which wrapped with a huge finale in January of 2013. Orchid featured a hugely overarching story full of multiple themes that mesh together beautifully and tell a tale of oppression, rebellion, and the supernatural. It also featured some great musical compositions from Morello that scored each issue fantastically.
While the name might not be as familiar as some of the others on the list, Claudio Sanchez fronts Coheed & Cambria and is the driving force behind The Amory Wars. A series of graphic novels and issues that tell a huge story that is directly related to the 5 studio albums released by Coheed & Cambria, The Amory Wars is a huge sci-fi series that redefines the word saga, and excels with its cross-media storytelling.
Lead singer of My Chemical Romance, Gerard Way has been involved in comics since the age of 16, but is probably best known for the Eisner Award winning series The Umbrella Academy from Dark Horse Comics. The Academy featured his own unique take on the superhero team dynamic, with clear influences from Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol run. He followed this series up with the ongoing The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, which actually serves as a sequel to the 2010 MCR album, “Danger Days”.
Gene Simmons of KISS has been a big name in comics for quite a while, and even has his own imprint at IDW called the Simmons Comic Group. While he isn’t necessarily the writer for all of the comics featured under his imprint, we all know there isn’t much he doesn’t control if his name is attached to it. Years of KISS comics as well as newer series like House of Horrors have made Simmons a mainstay in the comic world.
Arguably one of the most proficient comic creators in his field, Glenn Danzig is a musical legend, having founded and been a part of The Misfits, Samhain, and Danzig. A long time comic fan, Danzig grew tired of American comics and created his own adult comic company Verotik, which featured a number of titles written by himself like Jaguar God, G.O.T.H., and Death Dealer, to name a few. There have even been a number of film adaptations in the works over the years, including an adult film based off of Grub Girl.
Another Eisner Award winner on our list, Percy Carey (who has been known under the stage names MF Grimm, GM Grimm, and Build and Destroy) wrote the fantastic autobiographical account of his life, from his rise to hip-hop stardom to the tragic loss of his legs due to the gang life that is so often glamorized in rap songs. Vertigo’s Sentences: The Life of M.F. Grimm is a dark, gritty, unapologetic look at the world of hip-hop that is rarely seen, and tells a tragically real story about the life of the man who prospered and suffered through it.
Another relative newcomer to the world of professional comics, Billy Martin, the guitarist from Good Charlotte, has a lifelong love affair with comics that he brought to IDW. Vitriol the Hunter, co-written and illustrated by Martin, is a vampire tale that ran for 6 issues in 2013. Martin also has released a children’s book called Damious McDreary: A Boy and his Bat, which seems to be something of a precursor to his work on Vitriol.
Classic rocker Jane Wiedlin is better known as one of the guitarists of The Go-Go’s, but she has also joined the ranks of musicians turned comic creators with her series Lady Robotika, published by Image. The story follows Wiedlin, who is abducted by aliens and transformed into a rocking cyborg superhero who fights for those who can’t. Lady Robotika is unique in that it features the creator of the series as the main character, which is totally acceptable considering every part of the story follows Wiedlin’s passions in music and science fiction, and she has even stated her interest in bringing the story to the stage as a musical.
No stranger to crossing mediums, rock legend Rob Zombie (known for his solo act as well as the frontman for White Zombie) has become almost as well-known in Hollywood as he was in the music world. He apparently wasn’t satisfied with that, and moved into the world of comics with a number of different titles. The most well-known would have to be Spookshow Tales (which featured some of the characters from House of 1000 Corpses), Whatever Happened to Baron Von Shock? and The Nail. He also turned his comic series The Haunted World of El Superbeasto into an animated direct-to-DVD film, continuing his cross-medium greatness (I’m a fan).
These are just some of the more well-known musician/comic creator crossovers, with a lot more musicians who have released independent comics, strips, and graphic novels. These artists and writers presented in the list give us a fantastic look into the various ways the art of storytelling presents itself, whether it’s with the music we listen to or the pages we flip.
What are your favorite musicians turned comic creators? Let us know in the comments section below!
Images: Image, IDW, Vertigo, Verotik,
Dark Horse, 12-Gauge, Simmons Comics Group