90s nostalgia. I don’t think I’m giving away too much to say I was there. Pearl Jam, Helmet, Beastie Boys, RHCP, Chris Cornell with long hair. Primus. Henry Rollins. Porno for Pyros. The Roxy. The Viper Room. Lollapalooza 2-on…and as the memories keep drifting back, I keep thinking…whatever happened to industrial music? I remember driving away from work in my Civic with Ministry’s “Hizbollah” blasting on my tape deck and the horrified looks I got. You can’t buy that. I made a “Hizbollah” ring tone for my first mobile phone. Where have you gone Paul Barker? And Raymond Watts? KMFDM, better than the rest. And Al Jourgensen…where did you go? I remember sitting at the Irvine Ampitheatre for Lollapalooza 2 and Ministry was playing “Burning Inside” and it was the loudest thing I had ever heard and the guy sitting in front of me, who was drunk, turned around and said, “I’m sorry! Did you hear that? I farted!”
You could not hear even a 21-burrito salute while Ministry was playing.
Anyway, Al Jourgensen is back, and…he…he’s writing a comic book. It will be drawn by Sam Shearon, a British artist who has worked on such comics as KISS and a 30 Days of Night spinoff but is best known for his album covers for such folk as Rammstein, Ministry, Rob Zombie, Iron Maiden, KISS, A Pale Horse Named Death and Fear Factory. The 13-issue series, Ministry: The Devil’s Chord – The Chronicles of Alien F. Jourgensen features a character named Alien. F. Jourgensen, who is, were told, a young musician who struggles for his soul with his record label, while gaining superpowers from his music. There will be aliens, conspiracies and general mayhem and each issue will be based on a Ministry album. The series will debut at next year’s Comic-Con, meaning there will be a Ministry show somewhere.
While no publisher is mentioned, I would estimate that IDW might be a home for this comic.
“I’ve been wanting to step away from music for a bit, switch gears,” said Jourgensen in a statement. “I met Sam and then POOF! Sam turns me into a superhero. Ya, I’ll sign up for that!” He hopes to rope others into the project. “I’d love to have people like Trent Reznor, Billy Gibbons and Billy Haynes be characters in the series. I mean, who doesn’t want to be a superhero?”*
Now, Jourgensen, who was a legendary wild man and narcotics enthusiast back in the day, hasn’t been entirely off the radar. He recently penned a biography in which he revealed that he once performed oral sex on a male bandmate, and offended members of Metallica by coming at them with a vegetable stuck up his butt. It’s too bad S. Clay Wilson can’t draw this comic, really.
*While I can’t help but feel ambivalent about the arrival of Uncle Al, as he’s known, to the ranks of comic book auteurs, maybe this mini industrial nostalgia fest means that K.M.F.D.M. gets some props. I fired up A MIND IS A TERRIBLE THING TO TASTE on Spotify to write this post, but I hadn’t listened to that album in….15 years. Since I stopped driving around with a tape deck, really. But I still listen to K.M.F.D.M. all the time…their music is full of crunch, irony, kitsch, bad taste and awesome slogans. Plus they had the best cover art, by Aidan Hughes, aka Brute! that is already comic book ready. In other words, if Al gets Sascha and En Esch to appear in this comic, I will totally approve.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.