Ten Metal Comic Books We’d Like To Read
As I mentioned in a recent post about the new poorly-drawn Metallica comic, it’s rare that comic books about heavy metal artists are any good. More often than not, they try too hard to make the characters look like their real-world counterparts, and the result is some uncanny valley shit.
It’s a shame, too, because metal is so epic and spectacular that it’s pretty much made for comics, and because plenty of talented comic artists are metalheads — as Axl pointed out to me, Greg Capullo always wears a Black Label Society hat, and Alex Ross has done the covers for the last three Antrhax albums. It’s just a matter of matching the perfect band with the right artist (and, I’m sure, working out a budget).
So here are some heavy metal bands whose comics I’d love to read, and the artists I’d like to see draw them. Let us know in the Comments if you can think of some other solid combinations.
Lamb of God by Jae Lee
The Lamb of God story is a long and multi-faceted one, and would make a great five-issue mini-series, starting in the Richmond punk and metal scene and ending today, post-Czech prison. Meanwhile, Lee’s creepy stringiness would be a perfect compliment to the band, especially Randy Blythe. And Jae is no stranger to metal either — he recently illustrated a Revolver cover, where he did an amazing King Diamond.
Pig Destroyer by Steve McNiven
While Steve McNiven’s art for Marvel’s Civil War is probably his best-known material, it’s his recent work on Old Man Logan, a post-apocalyptic Wolverine spin-off, that proves him worthy of telling the story of Pig Destroyer. Whether that’s the band’s actual history or a tale of the PXDX universe, it doesn’t matter — though I’d kind of prefer the latter. Jennifer vs. The Iron Drunk would be an awesome title.
Watain by Guy Davis
The best modern black metal band in the world is messy, creepy, and deeply evil. They’d make awesome comic book villains — perhaps summoned by spilling pig’s blood on an ancient tome, bid to ride on until they are called upon by a foolhardy wizard. Guy Davis’ unsettling line-heavy art is a perfect match for Watain’s visual overkill. Check out his horrific work on The Marquis and BPRD to see what I mean, as well as his concept art for Pacific Rim. He also did a classic retelling of Sherlock Holmes set in the punk world called Baker Street that makes him a genre shoe-in.
Faith No More by Mike Allred
While his Madman is an iconic indie comics figure, Mike Allred might also be recognized by metalheads for the Bluntman & Chronic comics he drew for Kevin Smith. The mix of down-to-earth humanity and bizarre space perversion present in his art are just right for Faith No More, a band known for being musicians as much as for being psychotic funk-metal experimentalists who lead gimps around. “Epic” would be an understatement for this collaboration.
Volbeat by Ed McGuinness
Volbeat and McGuinness share one thing over all others: polish. Volbeat’s country-tinged swing metal is clear and bright, as are Ed McGuinness’ lines and shadows. In this situation, I’d lean towards an in-world story arc, an original tale of one of Volbeat’s guitar gangsters heading out on a revenge quest or something along those lines. There’s a cowboy character in McGuinness’ Superman: Emperor Joker story arc named Bounty who was basically made for Volbeat.
Couch Slut by Sam Kieth
Last year saw the release of My Life As a Woman, a harrowing and vicious album with a very confrontational cover by Brooklyn’s Couch Slut. The record delves into a lot of torturous female psychology, and it would be interesting to see it translated into visual form. And there could be no better artist to do that than Sam Kieth, creator of The Maxx and Four Women, both of which deal with issues of feminism and madness. Keith’s bizarre, chaotic visions would be a perfect fit with this bizarre, chaotic band.
Immortal by Olivier Ledroit
Immortal did something that makes them an excellent comic book band–they created their own fictional world in which they dwell. As such, you don’t have to discern or siphon a story out of their music. It’s already there, and it’s full of evil visuals. For the great Blashyrkh epic, I’d suggest Olivier Ledroit, fantasy artist extraordinaire, known for his total overkill when it comes to weapons, spikes, black tattoos, and death. If you have the money, go buy Requiem: Vampire Knight Volumes 1 and 2 right now. Perhaps the most metal comics known to man.
Holy Grail by Chuck BB
Chuck BB has proved himself unendingly true with his comic book Black Metal, and the characters in Stone Cold Lazy, BB’s monthly comic strip for Decibel, already look like they could be members of Holy Grail. So why not chronicle the lives of Holy Grail in that fashion? The band’s music has a distinct mix of cartoonishness and total metal mayhem. Maybe have them accidentally open a portal full of orcs during a performance. Because fuck yeah, Holy Grail.
Anal Cunt by Evan Dorkin
An AC comic would be like a dog licking his balls — we’d do it because we could, even though it would be really fucking gross. And who better to illustrate such a total shitshow than Evan Dorkin, creator of Milk & Cheese? Everyone’s favorite Dairy Products Gone Bad are loudmouthed drunks who love throwing gin bottles into the stupid fucking face of society. The resulting single-issue of Seth Putnam’s adventures would never meet Comics Code, and would most likely be burned upon printing.
Triptykon by Kelly Jones
While HR Giger will forever be Triptykon’s artist, he probably wouldn’t be my first choice even in a perfect wold where he was still around — Giger’s work is big and epic, and maybe wouldn’t suit a narrative comic book story. But Kelly Jones, famous for his work on Sandman and Batman, would ace this comic with flying colors. His brooding cloaked figures and unspeakable horrors go well with Triptykon’s journey into ultimate darkness. This is one of the rare occasions where telling the band’s story might be better than creating one from their work — Jones could probably draw a mean Tom Gabriel Fischer.