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Stereoboard Look At Bands In Comic Books (My Chemical Romance, KISS, Rob Zombie, Stone Sour Feature)

Tuesday, 05 February 2013 Written by Heather McDaid
Stereoboard Look At Bands In Comic Books (My Chemical Romance, KISS, Rob Zombie, Stone Sour Feature)

Music is more than an audio format, it is an art form. Many in the business understand that, using music as a base for other projects. Comics are a popular sidestep from music, with artists using their base as a musician to move on into a career in comics, or use their albums as a base to interlink a new series.

ImageMy Chemical Romance's Gerard Way is a prime candidate who ticks both those boxes. Fans in possession of their DVD 'Life on the Murder Scene' will recall him proudly showing off his sketches for comic book art, something he'd always wanted to do. Since then, Way has teamed up with comic book artist Gabriel Ba to create his own series The Umbrella Academy, which is rumoured to be being made into a movie.

As well as his own comic creation, the band indulged their music fully into a comic concept in the form of 'Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys'. Fighting the monochromatic establishment BL/ind, the Killjoys bring colour and vibrancy with their fight, something we imagine would look great as an actual comic book. Luckily, that's in the works (not that this really came as a surprise). The story looks good in videos, and with the famed video trilogy (that was never actually completed) leaving the ending up in the air, the comic books will bring some closure to the tale at the very least.

It comes as no surprise that KISS are another band to have delved into the comic book business. It comes as no surprise that KISS have delved into any business we happen to stumble across. But, like everything else they do, it is in excess - go big or go home. From their work with Marvel and Dark Horse comics to their 31 part series Psycho Circus, the band have got quite an illustrated repertoire under their belts. A personal favourite stumbled on over the years is 'Mars Attacks KISS'. It's even less surprising that Gene Simmons has taken it upon himself to do his own comics, having the Simmons Comic Group, with plenty of his own creations available alongside KISS's ludicrous storylines.

2012 saw Stone Sour release the first instalment of their double concept record 'House of Gold and Bones'. 2013 will not only hold the second - and highly anticipated - instalment, but the comic book to coincide with the plot. The band claim that this album-comic project will set the tone of their careers, raising the bar of everything they do from here on it. The plot of the album is a relatable one, with the main focus of the plot being a person reaching a crossroads in life where they need to make a difficult decision. The voices in use are said to be subconscious, and ultimately - it's a plot that everyone can relate to on some level. This is apparently unlike any project DC has ever done before, and it should be a very interesting addition to Stone Sour's work.

Rob Zombie is a man who oozes a love of all things horror, from his music and live aesthetic to his work with movies. In this sense, it's unsurprising that this particular love has With numerous works under his belt, Zombie has mirrored his work in films with some of his comic endeavours - The Devil's Rejects series based from his film, and 'The Haunted World of El Superbeasto' later being turned into an animated film. Tying all of his art together, there are links to his music through is comics, with uses of lyrics and song titles throughout. When someone has such a love of creating things, it's nice to see them use as many platforms to do so as possible.

Rage Against The Machine's famed axeman Tom Morello is another to add his name to the ever-growing list. The description of his series 'Orchid', which saw him team up with Dark Horse comics, says, "When the seas rose, genetic codes were smashed. Human settlements are ringed by a dense wilderness from which ferocious new animal species prey on the helpless. The high ground belongs to the rich and powerful that overlook swampland shantytowns from their fortress-like cities. Iron-fisted rule ensures order and allows the wealthy to harvest the poor as slaves. Delve into Orchird, the tale of a teenage prostitute who learns that she is more than the role society has imposed upon her." Admittedly, the character seems out with Rage's repertoire, but the ideas of fighting for rights and breaking preconceived constraints of society seems very interlinked with his message. Sounds very interesting, to say the least.

Glenn Danzig of Misfits fame has also dabbled in the comic industry, with his series Satanika. A lot more sexually focussed than most of the comics mentioned here so far, Danzig's work follows a female character said to be a "demoness with some succubus-like aspects", who indulges in her sexual appetites with a variety of angels and demons. Said to be a tall and slim female, she also possessed purple bat wings, ram's horns and demon hooves in place of her feet, also mainly featuring naked. Probably not for the younger readers or fans of Danzig then...

Coheed and Cambria's Claudio Sanchez is another who uses multiple platforms to tell his story, featuring more on sci-fi ideas over sex. Aside from his general delving into graphic novels, he released 'Good Apollo, I'm A Burning Star IV Volume 1: From Fear Through The Eyes of Madness' to coincide with Coheed's record of the same name. He continued with his most famed project to date, The Amory Wars, which tells the story through their albums, continuing on to their release of 2012 'The Afterman: Ascension', and through to this year's follow up 'The Afterman: Descension'. Sanchez is one of the finest examples of mixing his formats, as both his music and graphic novels fluidly feed off each other. Quite a feat.

While all of those mentioned above are great series for you to dive into, not all comics linked to music are quite so creative or interlinked. So, to balance it off, here are some quick snips of others that the internet threw out in the research process...

'Fame: Justin Bieber' tells the tale from Justin's humble beginnings through Youtube stardom to being discovered by Usher and becoming a worldwide success. It doesn't really sound the most creative of endeavours, but maybe there's a brief superhero appearance, but... probably not.

There is also 'Nine Wings of Wu-Tang'. Before looking into whether it was good or bad, just the fact the Wu-Tang Clan had their own comic series was enough for inclusion. "In a long-forgotten past where martial arts and magic blend together, an ancient evil is reborn and only a rag-tag band of mercenaries can stop it from plunging the world into eternal darkness..." Well, then.

Sometimes in life you stumble over something so bemusing it seems like you've read it wrong. But no, Billy Ray Cyrus does have his own comic book. Is it a mere biography like Justin Bieber's? Don't be so silly. From a quick internet scour, he apparently has a faithful horse called Roam, he gives some history lessons and has a time travelling tour bus. (In this case, I hope the internet isn't lying to me.)

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