Black Widow has formed a Girl Group, take a listen!

Scar Jo singing

Scarlett Johansson has occasionally dabbled in music, be it in a fun little karaoke scene in Lost In Translation (one of my top ten favorite movies of all time), or putting out an album of Tom Waits covers.

In between having a child and filming a ton of great movies, Johansson found the time to start a “Girl Group” called The Singles, that includes Este Haim, Julia Haltigan, Kendra Morris, and Holly Miranda. Their first song, “Candy”, which you can hear over at Vice, was produced by TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek.

There’s some serious 80’s Synth-Pop influence there, and a danceable beat. Fun!

 

Wanna listen to the Awesome Mix Vol 1 from Guardians of the Galaxy?

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Perhaps no movie since the last Quentin Tarantino film has used familiar music as effectively to cue emotions as Guardians of The Galaxy. Starting with the trailers, director James Gunn picked out 70s music that has both nostalgic schlock value and hooks as big and irresistible as the universe. The result is music that grounds us in an unfamiliar world, bringing us right into Peter Quinn’s mind-set as ia dramatic link to his earth heritage.

And there’s even dancing and Footloose as the best story. I’d almost call Guardians a musical, in fact. It was probably my favorite part of the movie. And you know that scene at the end, that even bought a tear to my eye,

The official Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack includes Tyler Bates’ stirring if typical score instead of the 70s classics. However, Hollywood Records has a playlist on Spotify that has the whole Awesome Mix Vol. 1:

I dunno if this is 100% legit or not, but who cares. Fire it up and get ready to rob some space orbs.

RIP: Oderus Urungus

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The Gwar frontman is dead at age 50. Gwar had a big comics crossover of inspiration and I know they played Comic-Con several times.

Photo via Diabolique Magazine

Ministry’s Al Jourgensen is writing a comic book

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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?”*

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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.

Mark the Tenth Birthday of ‘Hey Ya!’ with Peanuts

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Joe Hughes points out the painful fact that Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya!’, the song that led us from post 9/11 PTSD, that taught us how to shake it in the early years of social media, that signaled everyone get on the floor for months and then years, is now 10 years old. And whether it’s the internet making time pass more quickly, as Chris Hardwick theorized, or just my own getting older (every month is a smaller part of my total life than the previous one) this was the fastest decade ever. And to celebrate, I suggest, as Joe does, watching the Hey Ya Peanuts mashup.

PS: I know that “Hey Ya” does not appear on ATliens, but I posted that album for obvious reasons.

Avril Lavigne’s New Video Is The Best Comic of 2013

If Heidi is allowed to post about Lord of the Rings, then I’m allowed to write about my passions too, and of course by that I mean Avril Lavigne videos. Her new video for ‘Rock N Roll’ is another masterpiece from the Canadian, a Tank Girl-styled piece set in the desert and featuring comic-styled artwork from illustrator Lucas Culshaw.

In a very real sense, this video puts the comics industry to shame and should inspire us all to try harder.

[Read more…]

Run DMC’s Daryl McDaniels teams up with Bronze Age Great Sal Buscema…and that was a real thing

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Like many of the great rappers—and he is one of the old skool greats—Darryl “DMC” McDaniels grew up a big comics nerd. So after meeting up with a fellow comics loving music exec, McDaniel decided to get involved with his own “Darryl Makes Comics”, which will release a graphic novel called DMC in the fall. Artistic collaborators include Damion Scott, Dexter Vines, and…Sal Buscema.

DMC: That’s the most crazy thing EVER!  The whole thing that happened with me is when Hip-Hop came over the bridge from the Bronx to this suburban lower middle-class Catholic school kid, I put all my comic book dreams on hold to pursue this new culture of music and poetry.  Me and my brother Alfred, we had an extensive collection of comic books and Sal Buscema was the backdrop of my whole childhood.  But me and my brother sold the majority of our comic book collection to buy turntables and a mixer because this Hip-Hop thing was so overpowering.  But all of these artists who worked for Marvel (e.g. Damion Scott) have drawn some of my favorite superheroes.  And [as far] as Sal Buscema it’s like, “How the hell do I get a chance to work with God?”  It’s crazy how things go full-circle.  To be able to work with legends who have participated and fought on that front-line of comic book creativity is an honor to me.  It’s a blessing, a dream come true.  True be told, I feel like a twelve year-old kid again.


There’s also a Kickstarter going, which doesn’t look like it’s going to make it—$100K is a bit much for a nerdlebrity graphic novel. Shoulda started out lower because—it’s like that.

Henry and Glenn #1 sells 71,000 copies — to celebrate, here’s a preview of issue #2

Tom Neely’s HENRY & GLENN FOREVER is a reinvention—totally fictional—of two rock icons combined with some razor sharp cartooning and the result is a comics classic. A POPULAR, comics classic: Publisher, Microcosm’s Joe Biel, lets it drop in this interview that HENRY & GLENN FOREVER has sold 71,000 copies. Given that it costs a mere $6—the price of a fancy coffee in some parts of the country—for 68 pages of quality comicking, that’s not really a surprise. Also, as I always say, people like to laugh…and rock out!

The merriment has continued with a four issue mini-series called HENRY & GLENN FOREVER & EVER. The second issue just came out and we’re told that  #3 should be out in time for SPX, and #4 in time for the holidays.

Volume 2 Issue has work by Neely, Josh Bayer, and Mark Rudolph. This issue is $5 for 32 pages, and here’s a peek inside plus the regular cover by Neely and an alternate cover by Levon Jihanian:

 

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The Doors App Tells Morrison’s Tale through Haspiel’s Comics

You might have caught wind of the fact that a multi-media iPad app has been released this week featuring The Doors as part of a “fan experience” that was created to coincide with the digitization of boxed sets by Warner Music Group. The app seeks to “tell the tale” of The Doors through a unique combination of photos, new interviews, sound files, and, of course, music. What you might not have heard is that they decided to bring in comics to be part of that storytelling.

Artist Dean Haspiel (CUBA MY REVOLUTION, BILLY DOGMA) was asked to compose a comic, referred to as a “graphic novelization” to accompany voice recordings of Jim Morrison during the infamous “Miami Incident”, when Morrison was accused of exposing himself on stage in 1969. The official press release says:

This section also includes the once-confidential FBI report, the arrest report, a portion of Jim’s tongue-in-cheek testimony, Morrison’s mug shot, and his posthumous pardon issued in 2010.

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This is some serious sourcing of material to clear up the “false accusation” of Morrison’s behavior on stage. The comic contains a great deal of supporting detail to help paint a clearer picture of the factors that led to the chaotic aspects of the performance, including a window onto Morrison’s way of thinking at the time, and also the ripple effect that the arrest had on the band including the cancellation of their first major tour and the labeling of the band as trouble by promoters. The comic subtly reminds readers of the part that small debacles can play on the large scale to impact the route of cultural history and also draws sympathy for Morrison without whitewashing his envelope-pushing and anti-authoritarian attitude that contributed to the incident in the first place.  It’s a moving piece, told visually by Haspiel in a way that places Morrison at the center of his own story, justifying its presence well on the app as a missing puzzle piece of the story from Doors history. It stands alongside the ephemera and documentation on the app that helps bring the story home for readers as an unusual turning point for the Doors and places it in wider context of their career.

The app itself includes  1500 pieces of material assembled, alongside “44 short form videos and 60 audio segments” and

over 500 images including band photos, album art, singles, international releases and memorabilia (posters, ticket stubs, advertisements, press releases, contracts, and related correspondence).

It’s an exciting way to reassemble fan history and band lore in multiple formats, but even more affirming that the team chose to use comics as part of their storytelling on the app. It speaks to the role that comics have assumed as a form of visual journalism and also to the way comics can create atmosphere and a sense of participation for readers which Warner describes as “a new way to showcase and experience a band’s entire career in a single download”.  The trailer for the app is available here.

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Hannah Means-Shannon writes and blogs about comics for TRIP CITY and Sequart.org and is currently working on books about Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore for Sequart. She is @hannahmenzies on Twitter and hannahmenziesblog on WordPress.

INTERVIEW: Greg Pak and Jonathan Coulton Team Up on Kickstarter!

Kick up the Kick-Watcher! Today sees the launch of Code Monkey Save World, a new 60-page graphic novel from Greg Pak and Jonathan Coulton, to be brought to life by the artistic team of Takeshi Miyazawa, Jessica Kholinne, and Simon Bowland. Wait – Jonathan Coulton, the musician, sir? Yes sir, that’d be him! The graphic novel is based around his work, you see, and will take several of the characters first heard in songs like Skullkicker Mountain, RE: Your Brains and Code Monkey and unite them into a single adventure, written by Pak.

If the target of $39000 is reached, then the graphic novel will be released digitally in four parts through Monkeybrain, with the full graphic novel collected later on. In order to find out more about the project, I spoke to both Greg and Jonathan about the project – how it came about, how the creation process has been, and why a super-villain would want to team up with a sad monkey. [Read more…]

On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

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On March 21st 2013 at the Union Hall bar, restaurant, and music venue in Park Slope, Brooklyn, comics creator and TRIP CITY co-curator Dean Haspiel and comedian/actress Katharine Heller launched what may be the first of several salon events featuring comics, comedy, prose, and musical performances entitled “NIGHT JOB”. Though it was a new venture, neither Haspiel nor Heller are strangers to the stage. They were joined by stand-up comedian and writer Molly Knefel of the internet radio show RADIO DISPATCH, indie cartoonist Meghan Turbitt, author Reverend Jen of the long-running “Rev Jen’s Anti-Slam” performance event. Also performing were political satirist and stand-up comedian Angry Bob, and the music group Two Beards One Heart, including  Jeffrey Burandt (aka Jef UK of Americans UK), and Peter Boiko, supported by John Mathias and John Thomas Robinette III.

[Read more…]