Take a back seat, Marvel, because it's about to get miserable in the comic world. Shawn Demumbrum of Phoenix, Arizona has launched a fan-funded project that will see comic book artists turn their favourite Smiths songs into short graphic stories.
Unite And Take Over: ComicStories Inspired by The Smiths will be a compilation of comics inspired by Morrissey and Marr's songs, with Cemetry Gates, Girlfriend In A Coma and How Soon Is Now among the tracks that will be re-interpreted.
Demumbrum is currently in the process of getting scripts illustrated while raising money from fans and supporters so he can afford license the use of each song . So far 13 have been turned into short, graphic stories, that uses the song as a "jumping off point" rather than illustrate it line by line. More are on the way. (STOP PRESS: He's commented on this story, see below, saying he has hit his targets and they will look at reimagining another act's songs for a second volume).
With My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way publishing his own comic book The Umbrella Academy, which is now being made into a film, it seems graphic novels and music could be good bedfellows. Joe Bishop get's his crayons out and suggests some more songs that would be prime for a visual makeover:
Pulp - Disco 2000
Pulp's song about not being noticed by girls would probably fit in quite well with the collection of melancholy that is The Smiths, though Pulp's tone has always been a bit more jovial. Perhaps it could all take place in an alternative year 2000 where there are flying cars and new romantics are still cool?
Arctic Monkeys - When The Sun Goes Down
Prostitution in the freezing winter nights up North is a grim proposition, and something that Arctic Monkeys lyricist Alex Turner turned into a very real thing on this debut album track. Having already inspired a short film, it would also make a cracking dark comic full of frosty relations and gritty situations. He's a scumbag, don't you know?
David Bowie - Space Oddity
Ground control to Major Tom... was just the start, what happened when Bowie's astronaut lost contact with Earth and hurtled out into the universe? This comic will make 2001: A Space Odyssey look 2D.
The Human League - Don't You Want Me
An exchange that has probably happened between bands and managers since the dawn of music, this tale of an embittered svengali trying to control his more successful protégé is probably worthy of a whole graphic novel side. Be warned this one might get nasty.
Muse - Knights Of Cydonia
We couldn't make this list without putting a Muse track in, because the band's fantastical bombastical music and lyrical content are great comic fodder. Knights Of Cydonia is clearly worthy of an entire series of books not to mention a film adaptation. "No one's going to take me alive", Matt Bellamy sings, as if straight from a cock-rock special of Batman.
MF Doom As Viktor Vaughn - Lactose and Lecithin
An insane cop-killer in New York, caked in prescription drugs, is roaming the streets. After slashing the throat of a concerned police officer, he states "He had them type of eyes, he might be still alive, how d'you get this thing to hyperdrive?". We can already imagine the ultra-violence, futuristic manga adaptation.
The Weeknd - The Morning
This one may be a bit top-shelf, but would definitely make an artistically intriguing little strip. Much of the Weeknd's music is drug fuelled and sexually charged, and The Morning is no different. A woman wants money and she knows how to get it, attending the sort of codeine laced parties that The Weeknd will have us believe he's a regular of. Ok it's definitely top-shelf.
Katy B - On A Mission
Frequently describing her club experiences, Katy B's songs have a real sense of atmosphere, perhaps none more so than her first big hitter On A Mission. Wading through the crowd of people, she is met by a stranger who doesn't let her past, so she flirts with him, sipping his drink and holding his gaze. Not enough guns and violence as the average graphic novel, but more than the The Smiths adaptations we suspect.
Shaggy - It Wasn't Me
Shaggy's poetic ode to the mental stage of denial would make an exceptionally artistic and tasteful graphic novel. The moral and ethical implications of Banging on the bathroom floor come into the fore in this track, perhaps in a way that western music/ art will only see once in its fragile lifetime. Stunning.
Johnny Cash - One Piece At A Time
A bit of a slow build-up, but Cash's tale of a Cadillac factory worker who steals individual materials to make a Caddy of his very own - only taking him 24 years to complete his goal - seems ripe for the graphic novel treatment. Actually somebody has already beaten us to it and turnedJohnny Cash's life into the excellent comic book I See Darkness.
4:56 PM | 04/08/2011
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