There’s long been a relationship between music and comics. Frank Zappa advertised in Marvel Comics and was pals with Jack Kirby. Gerard Way won an Eisner for Umbrella Academy and has his own imprint at DC. Bloom County begat Billy and the Boingers and “U Stink, But I Luv U,” Mad had “It’s a Gas.” While it’s not unprecedented for a comic to release a musical single, it also doesn’t happen that often. The latest example of this the Murder Ballads graphic novel from Z2. Murder Ballads concerns the dark side of the music business and has an original soundtrack by Robert Finley and Dan Auerbach. Z2 has decided to release a single, “Bang Bang,” from the soundtrack. It’s not available separate from the soundtrack and graphic novel, but here it is for your listening pleasure:
Official PR follows:
(August 8, 2017) Z2 Comics has published the eagerly anticipated MURDER BALLADS original soundtrack by bluesman Robert Finley and Grammy-Award winner Dan Auerbach and the graphic novel by writer Gabe Soria and artists Paul Reinwand and Chris Hunt, now on sale wherever books are sold. The MURDER BALLADS Original Soundtrack includes Finley and Auerbach’s cover of the classic Leadbelly song “In the Pines” and four original songs—“Bang Bang,”“Butter Sandwich”, “The Empty Arms” and “Three Jumpers”—created specifically by Finley and Auerbach to accompany the MURDER BALLADS graphic novel about the music industry and redemption. The standard edition MURDER BALLADS graphic novel includes downloadable codes to the original soundtrack.
Z2 Comics has released the single “Bang Bang” from the MURDER BALLADS original soundtrack, which is only available with the purchase of the graphic novel and will not be sold separately:
MURDER BALLADS has been receiving widespread critical acclaim:
“The story of Murder Ballads explores the seedy underbelly of American music history, the darkness and violence that sometimes fuels hit records.”—ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
“Coen Brothers-Esque” —BILLBOARD
“Intriguing.”—CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND
“Paul Reinwand and Chris Hunt both submerse the reader into the smoky, bottom-shelf underworld of Shreveport, Louisiana, swinging from moody swaths of ink to angular suspense sequences. The additional album constructs an immersive, form-is-function totem to an art form baked into the fabric of America’s underbelly, and a trans-media experience unlike anything released this year.”—PASTE MAGAZINE
A meditation on music, obsession and how far someone will go to see their vision become real, MURDER BALLADS follows the fall and reinvention of Nate Theodore, the dead-broke and deadbeat owner of a failing record label who is on a cross-country drive in the dead of winter, fleeing the wreckage of his business and trying to save his crumbling marriage. Nate is given an unexpected chance to reverse his fortunes when, during a stop in a desolate rust belt town, he “discovers” Donny and Marvell Fontweathers, two African-American brothers who play a raucous brand of doom-laden country blues.
Later this fall, Mondo will release a Limited Edition MURDER BALLADS Original Vinyl Soundtrack and Graphic Novel which will retail for $200, featuring original album cover art by Jon Langford, the acclaimed visual artist best known for his striking portraits of country and rock music icons including Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley and limited edition prints by Tyler Boss (4 KIDS WALK INTO A BANK).
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Dan Auerbach is the singer/guitarist of the Grammy award winning rock band The Black Keys. His new solo album, Waiting on A Song, was released on June 2nd.
Robert Finley of Bernice, Louisiana, has been playing the guitar nearly all his life. At the age of 11, his father gave him some money to get new shoes – but Robert walked to town and bought a guitar instead. Robert returned to his music only recently after learning that he was going blind. A chance meeting while playing on the street with the founder of the Music Maker Relief Foundation led him to his first record deal and international tours.
Chris Hunt is a comic book creator, writer and artist. Currently residing in his hometown of Westerville, Ohio, he arrived back there after 19 years in Boise, Idaho and 3 years in New York City. Originally inspired as a 9 year old boy to pursue comics as a full time career, it took him almost 20 years to finally fulfill that dream. His first full length graphic novel, “CARVER: A Paris Story” debuted from Z2 Comics as a limited series to great acclaim in late 2015, eventually garnering 2016 Graphic Novel of The Year from IGN.com.
Jon Langford (born October 11, 1957) is a prolific and respected visual artist. He is best known for his striking portraits of country & rock music icons including Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley but his interests and subjects range far and wide. His punk rock instincts and unparalleled draftsmanship come together in a painting style that is distinctive, engaging and challenging. His paintings appear on cd’s (his own and other’s), book covers, as well as beer bottles for the Dogfish Head Brewery. His multimedia music/spoken-word/video performance, “The Executioner’s Last Songs,” premiered at Alverno College in 2005, and has been performed in several other cities, including Austin. He illustrated the comic strip Great Pop Things under the pseudonym Chuck Death. Since 2005 he has co-hosted a weekly radio program, “The Eclectic Company,” broadcast on WXRT 93.1 FM in Chicago. He has contributed to This American Life.
Paul Reinwand is an illustrator based in the Pacific Northwest, whose has worked on Aloha Hawaiian Dick, Big Hawaiian Dick, TMNT: Casey & April, and many other sequential art projects. http://www.konradwerks.com/
Warren Pleece is a comic artist and graphic novelist with over twenty years of experience working for UK and US publishers, including 2000AD, DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and many more.
Gabe Soria is the co-author of the graphic novel Life Sucks, published by First Second (2008). Life Sucks was picked for the American Library Association’s “Great Graphic Novels for Teens” list in 2009. Gabe has written for Batman ’66, Batman Adventures and Strange Sports Stories, and the “Regular Show” tie-in novel Fakespeare in the Park. His work as a music journalist has appeared in Mojo, the Guardian, the Oxford American, Blender and Arthur Magazine.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.