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In its strictest sense, music and comics couldn’t be further apart — even the most flagrant of comic book sound effects are, in fact, silent. But in the past decade, a number of comics creators with a passion for musical acts have stepped forward and created tributes to their favorite musicians — with notable comics based on or inspired by the likes of Tori Amos, Johnny Cash and Spearmint. Shawn Demumbrum has turned that trend into an informal line of independent anthologies through his company SpazDog Press, peaking now with Nothing Can Stop Me Now: Stories Inspired by Nine Inch Nails.
This upcoming graphic novel anthology, now seeking funds on Kickstarter, has writers and artists creating four- to eight-page stories based on songs from the band’s catalog. Led by a story by Caleb Monroe and Jason Copland based on “Every Day is Exactly the Same,” the collection also features contributions from such creators as Dirk Manning, Caanan White, Salgood Sam, Ryan Cody, Artyom Trakhanov and Joel Gomez. Unlike Demumbrum’s three previous “Inspired by” anthologies, Nothing Can Stop Me Now will be a full-color hardcover.
“Making comics with people who are passionate about the same music I like is something that want to continue to do. I want to continue to challenge myself as a creator and a publisher,” Demumbrum said in a press release. “Going from black and white to color and soft cover to hard cover are just two of the challenges. I wanted to add a pinup gallery so I could attract creators who didn’t have time in their schedule for a full story, but could create a single image for the book. For the previous books, I wanted to make the books PG-13 so that stores could carry them without restriction. The comic book industry has broadened even in the past few years. Comic books like Saga have pushed a mainstream mature to the forefront. I want the Nine Inch Nails book to reflect that type of book.”
Nine Inch Nails and its frontman Trent Reznor have a surprisingly long history of inspiring comics: An early issue of J. Scott Campbell’s Gen13 had a villain created as a homage to Reznor, and the 2004 independent comic Chang Fury featured the singer/songwriter as a fictionalized character. Likewise, Reznor and his bandmates have mentioned they’re comic readers as well, and the band’s 2007 album Year Zero reportedly had an tie-in comic in the works, but was never officially released.
The Kickstarter for Nothing Can Stop Me Now has raised nearly $12,000 toward its $14,000 goal with more than two weeks left.