While its actual sound is impossible to depict in print, the saga and spirit of rock ’n’ roll have nonetheless provided potent inspiration for a number of comics over the years. Stories of rock bands—both real and fictional—make for great comics, with chaotic concerts and colorful characters, as well as bombast and drama both in front of and behind the curtain. And as a visual medium, comics are particularly well-suited to capture rock ’n’ roll, which has always cultivated an audacious image and aura. Here are 15 comics about bands, fans, gigs, riffs, jams, mayhem and more.

Harold Sakuishi. 1999–2008. (Kodansha/Tokyopop)

Fourteen-year-old Koyuki joins the Japanese rock band Beck and befriends its enigmatic guitarist Ryusuke. In the subsequent years, the band and its members progress in fits and starts, echoing many of the hurdles real bands go through while trying to make it in the music industry. The series won a 2002 Kodansha Manga Award and has spawned an animated and live action adaptation, a video game, and guitar line.

Josie & the Pussycats
Created by Dan DeCarlo. 1963–1982, 1993 (Archie)

Six years after their debut, Riverdale residents Josie and Melody start a band and recruit bassist Valerie to form Josie and the Pussycats. Since its inception the band has appeared throughout Archie’s titles, frequently starring in crossovers. A Hanna-Barbera cartoon adaptation ran from 1970–1971, and a live action movie was released in 2001. A real musical trio was also formed in conjunction with the cartoon and released an album in 1970.

KISS Comics
1977–2013 (Various)

Since the members of KISS perform as cartoonish personas, it’s not surprising that the heavy metal group has appeared in numerous comics stretching back to the 1970s. Beginning with Marvel Comics, the adventures of KISS have also been published by Revolutionary Comics, Image (in Todd McFarlane’s Psycho Circus), Dark Horse, Platinum, Archie, and most recently IDW. Recently, a handful of collections have been released which reprint the myriad series.

Rock ’N’ Roll Comics
Created by Todd Loren. 1989–1993 (Revolutionary Comics)

The “unauthorized” stories of famous rock bands were given the comic treatment in this independent series which ran for four years and 63 issues. The bands profiled included Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, The Who, Black Sabbath, The Rolling Stones, The Cure and more. Due to the unlicensed nature of the comics, a number of bands sued Revolutionary Comics publisher Todd Loren, but were ultimately unsuccessful and instead caused the series to gain in popularity. In 2013, Bluewater Productions announced collected reprints of the series.

The Fifth Beatle
Vivek J. Tiwary, Alex Robinson and Kyle Baker. 2013 (M Press/Dark Horse)

The story of Brian Epstein, the Beatles manager who discovered the group in Liverpool and also struggled as a closeted gay man in conservative 1960s Britain. The gorgeously rendered book chronicles the Fab Four’s early years and Epstein’s integral role in getting them on the map. The book and its creators have garnered widespread acclaim, winning numerous awards including an Eisner, Harvey, Lambda, and Reuben, as well as becoming a New York Times bestseller. A movie adaptation is currently in development.

Various, 2010 (BOOM! Studios)

Comic creators and musicians gather under the namesake of New York’s storied venue to tell tales about the people, sounds, and energy that made CBGB famous around the world. Contributors include Kelly Sue DeConnick, Toby Cyprus, Kieron Gillen, Jaime Hernandez, Ana Matronic, Sheldon Vella, Kim Kirzan, and more.

Gabba Gabba Hey: The Graphic Story of the Ramones
Jim McCarthy and Brian Williamson. 2013 (Omnibus Press)

After getting their start at CBGB, The Ramones went on to become one of the defining punk bands with their aggressive style of play and signature look. British comic writer and music journalist McCarthy chronicles the band from its early days in Queens to international stardom and tragic end. McCarthy has also written graphic novel biographies of the Sex Pistols, Bob Marley, Michael Jackson, Nirvana, Metallica, and Gun ’N’ Roses.

Peter Bagge and Gilbert Hernandez. 1999–2000, 2011 (DC/Wildstorm, Fantagraphics)

Two indie comics mainstays offer an intergalactic take on Josie and the Pussycats.Yeah! follows the exploits of Krazy, Honey, and Woo Woo, a three-girl rock band who’ve achieved huge success everywhere in the galaxy except for Earth. So the trio trades time between sold out arenas in the far reaches of space and slumming it to amateur showcases around their native New Jersey. The series was originally published by DC’s Windstorm imprint, and was collected by Fantagraphics in 2011.

Punk Rock and Trailer Parks
Der Backderf, 2010 (Slave Labor Graphics)

Even though Akron, Ohio’s economic outlook in 1980 was bleak, the city became an unexpected hotbed for the burgeoning punk scene, producing a number of successful acts. Cartoonist Backderf looks back on the era through the eyes of Otto, an eccentric guy who lives in a trailer park and has little going on in his life until he finds success in the local music scene, eventually rubbing shoulders with some real life punk heroes.

Charles Soule, Renzo Podesta. 2010–2011 (Image)

A neurological condition that affects dexterity sends 27-year-old guitarist Will Garland’s life into a tailspin. Looming in his mind is the “27 Club,” a group of musicians (Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain) who died at 27. Can Garland escape this fate, and if he does, what's next? Soule and Podesta’s series explores rock’s supernatural side as well as the psychological toll of living on the edge.

Red Rocket 7
Mike Allred. 1997–1998 (Dark Horse)

The seventh clone of an intergalactic refugee witnesses the history of rock ’n’ roll in Allred’s psychedelic romp. From rock’s early progenitors of the 1950s all the way through the turn of the millennium, Red Rocket 7 surveys genres including rockabilly, grunge, and metal, and encounters a who’s who of rock legends along the way. All the while evading the intergalactic interlopers who doomed the original Rocket Red.

One Model Nation
Courtney Taylor-Taylor and Jim Rugg. 2012 (Titan)

Dandy Warhols frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor teams up with indie artist Jim Rugg to tell the story of a fictional Krautrock band that burned brightly before suddenly vanishing in late 1970s Germany. After reeling from the after effects of World War II for decades, Germany’s outlook is buoyed by an embrace of Western economic values. However, much of the public is still feeling isolated, and amid the generational angst, the band One Model Nation rises to superstardom. But with their swift rise also comes a swift fall.

Sing No Evil
JP Ahonen and KP Alare. 2014 (Abrams)

Music and mythology are woven together in the story of Aksel, a guitarist whose vocal skills are wanting, but must rally his band in order to save his city from an otherworldly threat. As Aksel attempts to keep his personal and creative life from imploding, he’s haunted by dreams of a transcendent sound that may just be the key to his salvation.

Kakifly. 2007–2012 (Houbunsha, Yen Press)

Four high school girls form a band to save their school’s music program in this popular four-panel manga. Most of the girls have little to no experience playing instruments, but after months of after-school jam sessions, they begin to gel both musically and emotionally. Eventually they graduate, but continue to play and even begin to teach a new generation. The series was adapted into two animated series, two original video animations, and an animated film. Numerous singles and mini albums performed by the fictional band (which appear in the show) have also been released.

Detroit Metal City
Kiminori Wakasugi. 2005–2010 (Hakusensha, Viz)

While his dreams of becoming a pop singer are on life support, Soichi Negishi finds unexpected success moonlighting as the wild frontman of a death metal band. On stage he takes on the persona of Joahnnes Krauser II, and creates a nightmarish backstory to enhance his (and the band’s) mystique. The setup works as Soichi’s daily frustrations find an outlet in Krauser, but he begins to lose himself in his ghoulish alter ego. The manga was adapted into a 12 episode animated series and a live action film.