Rock and Roll Comics

by Jason Short

RnR-Comics-300x157 Rock and Roll ComicsThe hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan found themselves in the middle of Marvel’s recent King in Black event.  The group was part of the plot of Deadpool #10.  Deadpool made several references to the group.  Their lyrics were even used as a plot device.  This was not the first appearance of Wu-Tang in comics.  In fact, musicians and comic books have a long history. Let’s look at some rock and roll comics.

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The Beatles

The Beatles are almost universally recognized as the most important band of all time.  It is not surprising, then, that the Beatles appearing in a book drives the price up.  The most famous of their appearances is probably Batman #222.  Although this is not an “official” appearance of the group, the characters are dead ringers for the band.  The most recent sale of Batman #222 in a 9.8 went for $4,800 last month at a Heritage auction.  The band also appeared on the cover of Atlas’ My Little MargieMy Little Margie #54 is an impossible book to find.  There are only 11 mid to low-grade copies on the census.  A high-grade copy would fetch thousands of dollars.  The group also graces the cover of Archie Comics’s LaughLaugh #166 is an even harder book to find.  There are only 6 copies total on the census.HTD13-196x300 Rock and Roll Comics

Heavy Metal Rockers

The band Kiss was big on merchandising and cross-promotion.  They appeared in two issues of Howard the Duck.  They made their cameo appearance in Howard the Duck #12.  The following issue, Howard the Duck #13, is considered their first appearance.  Both of these books are fairly reasonable.  Recent sales have been around $150 for 9.8 copies.  The band has continued to appear in comics.  Books such as Kiss #1, Kiss/Vampirella #1, and Kiss/Army of Darkness #1 are all affordable recent books.  Another 1970s rocker who has continued to appear in comics is Alice Cooper.  Cooper’s first appearance was way back in Marvel Premier #50.  Recent sales of 9.8 have bounced around in the $200 to $300 range.  Recent books featuring Cooper are significantly cheaper.  Alice Cooper #1 and Alice Cooper vs Chaos! #1 are a couple of recent books that can be easily obtained.

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Rock and Roll Writers

There are also numerous musicians who have branched out into comics.  The most famous of these books is The Umbrella Academy.  Umbrella Academy was the brainchild of My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way.  The first book to appear was for free comic book day.  The Umbrella Academy has seen recent 9.8 sales of just under $200.  The comic was adapted for a highly successful show on Netflix, which has kept up interest in the book.  Other famous musicians trying their hand at the comic game include Courtney Love, Tom Morello, Rob Zombie, and Kiss’s own Gene Simmons.  Examples of these books include Orchid #1 and Lobo: Highway to Hell #1.  Yellowcard’s Scott Key also worked on Edge of Venomverse #4.  None of them have garnered the attention or acclaim of Umbrella Academy, however.

The Last Word

Bands and comics have been joined together since the 1960s.  The Beatles were among the first bands to appear in comics.  This gave rise to further cross-pollination.  Acts as disparate as the Grateful Dead (Grateful Dead #1) and the Wu-Tang (The Nine Rings of the Wu-Tang) clan released books featuring their likeness.  Other artists started writing comics.  The most recent collaboration between Deadpool and Wu-Tang Clan shows that the pairing of these two genres is here to stay. Long live rock and roll comics!

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