Superheroes may dominate the pages of comics, but for many of us, rock stars are superheroes. Enter Rockstars.
Megan Hutchison is half the brains (and the mind-blowing art) behind this headbanging Image Comics series, which is a collaboration with writer Joe Harris (Snowfall, The X-Files) that delves into the shadowy backstage world of rock bands from different eras and genres who are overshadowed by the forces from beyond.
"It’s like X-Files meets Almost Famous," says Hutchison in our interview below about the series.
Hutchison first met Harris in a bar at Emerald City Comic-Con, when he pitched her the idea of doing a rock 'n' roll comic book. "He loved '70s music, and I love the occult. So I was like, 'This would work.' He’s definitely more into the rock music, and I kind of brought that mythical element to it," says Hutchison.
What emerged was a musical mythos that struck a chord with urban legends and put the seedy underworld of the music industry to life as a conspiracy of demons. The first arc is set in the bell-bottom era of classic rock, while the second explodes into the heavy metal satanic panic that followed. While many rock singers from the ‘70s and ‘80s may have sounded possessed while hitting high notes under the influence, some of those in Rockstars are actually victims of demonic possession.
“The evil under-workings of the music industry [are] essentially controlled by demons,” Hutchison explains. “So we wanted to have that portrayed throughout music history.”
She and Harris also have visions for another arc of music and mayhem within a different genre, playing with the idea of hip-hop, and possibly a Biggie Smalls character -- except you wonder whether it’s really Biggie or some demon who just gets to be called Big Poppa.
Rockstars is not meant for just comic enthusiasts or diehard rock devotees to geek out on—it somehow manages to bring together both in an unlikely fandom. "[Fans are] like, 'Oh, I love it, I love rock music and I love that you have all this mythos in it,'" says Hutchison. "So that’s kinda what we were gearing towards as far as hiding that stuff. It’s for the music nerds."
Elizabeth Rayne contributed to this article.