Graphic novels and comics are great ways for musicians to extend the universe of their music - and recently, there have been a few artists releasing visual representations of their music.
We've taken a look at a few artists that have released graphic novels in the past few years, and what they're all about. If you're looking for a good read in the near future, why not grab one of these?
All Time Low
All Time Low have teamed up with Z2 Comics to release a comic book based on their 2017 album, Last Young Renegade. While they've released a new album since in 2020's Wake Up, Sunshine, the band is looking to re-visit the world of Last Young Renegade with the upcoming graphic novel All Time Low Presents: Young Renegades.
Young Renegades focusses on Connor and Becca, who find themselves on a scavenger hunt that'll lead them to a top-secret All Time Low gig. It just also happens to be the same night as their 10-year high school reunion.
The description of the comics states, "As they follow the clues to the secret location, they begin to realize that larger forces are pushing them together and learn the power of hearing the right song in the right place at the right time.”
You'll be able to grab a copy of Young Renegades in June through Z2 Comics. They're also releasing an exclusive limited edition of the album on vinyl, which you can only get as part of the deluxe graphic novel package. Interested? Check out the pre-order page here.
Machine Gun Kelly
Machine Gun Kelly has been hustling lately, releasing a 49-minute music video, as well as dropping a new album, Tickets To My Downfall. He's now set to release a graphic novel, titled Hotel Diablo.
It's being published by Z2 comics, and will tie in directly with MGK's 2019 album Hotel Diablo. Z2 Comics has provided a brief synopsis of the novel, saying, "Between Heaven and Hell lies a waystation for the soul--a place where your deeds in life are the keys to your eternity in the afterlife--at the Hotel Diablo. And it's Lidia Lopez's first night behind the front desk. Every guest has a story to tell and a lesson to learn..."
The graphic novel will feature over one hundred pages of storytelling, which is exciting for any fan of MGK. You can check out the Z2 website to see the special deluxe and super deluxe versions of the graphic novel, which drops in July 2021, but you'll be able to grab a standard edition at your local comic book shop or bookstore.
Yungblud has a couple of graphic novels under his belt, starting with 2019's The Twisted Tales Of The Ritalin Club, and continuing with 2020's Weird Times At Quarry Banks University. Yungblud stars in the graphic novels, alongside his "super-powered" friends.
The description for Weird Times At Quarry Banks University reads, “Now eighteen, and having graduated from Blackheart’s High School; Yungblud, plus his super-powered friends Harmony, Scout, Zombie Joshua, Em, and Encore are now enrolled as students at Quarry Bank University.
“At first, it seems like university life is all drugs, sex and relationship drama. But when a new foe with a familiar face arrives from the Manga Dimension, the Ritalin Club find themselves caught in a trip that may cost them their very lives!”
Speaking about why he started writing comics, Yungblud says, “I wanted to start writing comics because I wanted to give my fans a genuine, physical world to fall into like I did. [With the book] I wanted to amplify the idea that if you feel like you’re in a place where you don’t feel accepted, then come inside this world because here we love you for exactly who you are and we always will.”
You can order Weird Times At Quarry Banks University here - but if you're interested in following the full story, it's worth seeking out The Twisted Tales Of The Ritalin Club as well.
To celebrate the band's 20th anniversary, Gorillaz (aka Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett) teamed up with Z2 Comics to release the Gorillaz ALMANAC. It features 120+ pages of Jamie's illustrations from the past two decades, including exclusive new artwork.
Speaking to Rolling Stone about the ALMANAC, Jamie says, “Twenty years of drawing the same characters you can’t avoid change, I think I tried to draw more realism into them around the 4th album but now I find myself looking back at the original style, which reminds me of 1970’s Hannah Barbera cartoons which I grew up on. Ultimately I would love to create an animation style as good as Chuck Jones’s style during the late 70’s. Also, I can afford to buy better pens now.”
The ALMANAC also included puzzles, games, and the first-ever strip to star band members 2D, Noodle, Murdoc Niccals and Russel Hobbs. If you're a Gorillaz fan, then you can purchase the ALMANAC here - it's a great way to get to know more about how Gorillaz came to be.
Loved Rico Nasty's debut album Nightmare Vacation? You're in luck, because she's recently released a comic book tie-in to the album. It follows Rico crashing her spaceship on Earth. She enlists the help of her friends Taco Bella and Trap Levigne to find it again, all while trying to finish her album.
Speaking about the release, Rico says, "I'm excited about my very own comic book. I just want my fans to come on this adventure with me. It's Nightmare Vacation in rare form."
There are two different covers for Nightmare Vacay, and it's out now via Z2 Comics. If you're looking to grab a copy, you can do so here - there is a purple and black cover, but why not grab both?