The worlds of comic books and music sometimes merge together, and there have been a few bands and artists through the years that have often had their own comic book or comic series. From superheroes to horror stories, and from metal to hard rock to hip hop, here are a few bands and artists that have been immortalized in comic book form:
These guys were clearly going to be the first on the list. KISS was the first band to become superheroes in comic book form, beginning in 1977 with Marvel Comics. The band immediately became part of the Marvel Universe, and the mystique associated with the band at the time significantly increased with the superhero association. KISS came across numerous Marvel superheroes and villains, from Doctor Doom to the X-Men to Howard the Duck. Oh, and the best part? The red ink in the comic contained blood from the band members!! The band had two major comic releases during the 1970′s, and returned to the inked page in the 1990′s with Marvel’s KISSNATION. Since then, KISS have had their own line of comics, from the Psycho Circus storyline to the KISS 4K Series.
Megadeth’s Cryptic Writings posed the scene for their comic book published by Chaos Comics. Titled The Cryptic Writings of Megadeth, each issue contained three stories based on the band’s lyrics and presented in a horror-style art form and theme. In some ways the release was ahead of its time, incorporating many elements that are somewhat “par for the course” with modern horror comic books – lots of violence, nudity, adult themes plus your standard run-of-the-mill “horror look and feel” with a dash of evil iconography as well.
Insane Clown Posse
Love them or hate them, they can’t be ignored – even if “Fucking Magnets How Do They Work” doesn’t melt your brain – ICP have a devoted following, and it’s really of no surprise that they would end up in comic book form. Titled The Pendulum, and coming in 12 issues, the series was based on the whole Dark Carnival themes found in the lyrical content of ICP. Published by Chaos Comics, the concept was to release one issue with one single, and then finally release all the songs combined on one CD with the Trade Paperback release. Just like KISS, the concept was to portray ICP as mystic superheroes.
Like KISS, it seems inevitable that GWAR would have a comic series. The visual and theatrical band released their comic series called Slave Pit Funnies – embracing the more sarcastic, cynical, and humorous side of the band. The series was self-published, and some of the content was created in the very early days of the band. The idea behind the comic was to help with promoting the band and trying to get additional coverage. The series also embraced their stage antics and homage to horror themes. While most of the issues were published in the 1990′s, GWAR still sell some back issues of their comics online as well.
Metal band Static-X also is immortalized in comic book form, and while most comics of bands see them as superheroes or within the horror genre, Static-X’s was a little different: they wanted Sci-Fi. Chaos Comics published the adventure, which was released in 2002, in a science fiction dystopian tale of the band members being enslaved cyborgs that work for a group of evil rulers. With blank minds, the group begins having resurfacing memories of rebelling against the state, setting the scene for a Sci-Fi Thriller tale. Like other bands, their comic was released with a CD, and was well received by fans.
The Kill Corps
Although it hasn’t been published yet, metal band The Kill Corps have a comic coming out in March 2011 inspired by their music. Embracing 21st century tech, this publication will come with a download code for an MP3, or for an entire EP (depending upon the version you get). The plot is said to be the band envisioned as a merc team that get transported to a dimension analogous to Hell, in which they are expected to fight their way through brutal portions of human history to save the human race itself. The comic will be published from Image Comics, and is said to be a cross between the horror and action genres.
Perhaps one of the most “WTF” music comic crossovers was the release of The Punisher/Eminem. When it comes to punishment, vengeance, and justice, the last thing for me that comes to mind is Slim Shady. Either way, the comic itself is slightly amusing, and is available for viewing online at this location. There’s a bunch of silly Eminem/Slim Shady puns throughout the publication, and despite the randomness of the comic, Frank Castle maintains his attitude and position as The Punisher. The comic is currently viewable online too.
Welcome to his nightmare in comic book form, Alice Cooper finally had his debut in comics with Neil Gaiman in The Last Temptation – a limited three-issue series that tells the story of the album with the same name. Published by Marvel, the first issue of the comic came for free with the release of the CD. Gaiman brings an element of darkness to the concept album with his work, and the comic totally embraces the Alice mythos: focusing on moral choices, the differences between good and evil, and the mysterious journey of a constant character in Alice’s work named Steven… And while this was the first series for Alice, it wasn’t his first comic debut: Cooper was first featured in Marvel Premiere #50 in 1979 to coincide with the release of his album, From The Inside.
So there you have it! What other popular music bands and artists do you think should have their own comic series?