Graphic adaptations of movies, books, and TV shows are singing the same old song. Here’s another tune to try out: graphic novels that take on pop music and musicians, including fictional stories based on musical muses, band backstories, and tribute anthologies honoring rock legends. The Eisner-nominated Tori Amos: Little Earthquakes, published by Z2, is just one example of a burgeoning genre of tie-ins. NBM also regularly publishes musician graphic bios, such as Nina Simone in Comics.

Headshell, a new imprint at Vault Comics, is the most recent outfit to invest in the belief that fans of musicians will also start collecting comics. “There’s an intuition to put up fences when people from other media come to play in the graphic novel landscape,” says Damian Wassel, CEO and publisher of Vault. “But the reality is that these people have made their careers as extraordinary artists with great ideas.”

Between Two Sounds: Arvo Pärt’s Journey to His Musical Language

Joonas Sildre, trans. from the Estonian by Adam Cullen. Plough, Sept.

Sildre’s exceptional biography of the experimental Estonian composer finds novel ways to visualize his revolutionary sound. The comics storytelling “translates the minimalist beauty and power of Pärt’s music to the page,” per PW’s starred review. Plough is collaborating with the Arvo Pärt Center in Estonia on concerts and events to promote the release.

Dying Inside

Pete Wentz, Hannah Klein, and Lisa Sterle. Headshell, Sept.

A suicidal teenage girl inadvertently becomes immortal in this story cowritten by Fall Out Boy bassist Wentz. The launch title for Vault’s new rock-themed Headshell imprint, it’s packaged with bonus material including a QR code to a performance by Daisy Grenade. Upcoming titles will feature work by Slash of Guns N’ Roses, Redman, and members of Def Leppard, Metallica, and the Beach Boys—and a whole comics universe created by Post Malone.

Elise and the New Partisans

Dominique Grange and Tardi. Fantagraphics, Sept.

Singer and activist Grange, as a rising French pop star, became radicalized by the Algerian War in the 1960s and devoted her life to fighting social injustice. Grange’s husband, the Eisner-winning artist Jacques Tardi, recounts her story in a semi-fictional graphic novel set in the heady street life of Paris, drawn in Tardi’s signature bold lines. The title comes from Grange’s hit 1968 protest song “Les Nouveaux Partisans.”

Moon Man

Scot “Kid Cudi” Mescudi, Kyle Higgins, and Marco Locati. Image, Nov.

Grammy-winning rapper Mescudi and Batman writer Higgins co-script this sci-fi superhero story about an astronaut transformed by a mysterious experience in outer space. The first installment of the six-issue miniseries, to be collected in November, is already on its third printing from Image.

No Remorse: The Illustrated True Stories of Lemmy Kilmister and Motörhead

Various. Z2, July

The eclectic lineup of contributors to this tribute anthology of comics, which is timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Motörhead’s founding, includes members of the band; fellow musicians such as Ozzy Osbourne, Dave Grohl, and Chrissie Hynde; comics creators like Neil Gaiman and Jim Mahfood; and a broad swathe of notable fans including filmmaker Penelope Spheeris and pro wrestler Triple H.

ODB: Oddities, Discord & B-Sides—Lyrical Ruckus in the City

Ike Reed et al. Oni, Nov.

In this Kickstarter-funded anthology, Russell Tyrone Jones, aka Ol’ Dirty Bastard, guides readers through a fractured New York City bristling with “kung fu action, sci-fi strangeness, romance, and weird horror,” according to the rapper’s son, Young Dirty Bastard. Contributors include Paris Alleyne, Damion Scott, Felipe Sobreiro, and Ronald Wimberly.

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