Comics may not necessarily seem like a natural fit for music fans, but in reality there are a number of great (and in some cases, even iconic) bands in comics. Best of all, many of these comics feature female musicians and are written or illustrated by women. This list collects a few of the best of these and offers a little something for everyone.
Jem and the Holograms Volume 1: Showtime by Kelly Thompson with art by Sophie Campbell – Jerrica is a skilled singer but she also has a serious case of stage fright. When the band that she and her sisters have formed has an opportunity to play as part of a video contest, she finds that she can’t even record their song due to her shyness. While struggling to live up to her sisters’ expectations, she discovers that her father has left her the technology to create a hologram to sing in her place. This is all just the background though for a story that is really about relationships of all kinds including fans, friendship, family, and romance. The story features a great and diverse cast and it will please both readers who are fans of the 1980’s Jem cartoon series and those who have never met these characters before.
Josie and the Pussycats by Marguerite Bennett and Cameron Deordio with art by Audrey Mok – Starting in the Fall of 2016, Marguerite Bennett, Cameron Deordio, and Audrey Mok reinvented the classic story of Josie and the Pussycats. Built on the same foundation as the classic comics, this new incarnation has a brand new origin and a great focus on the importance of friendship to the band’s success or failure. This is a great read for musicians, Archie fans, and those who want to read a great story about fame and friendship. The first volume won’t be out until August, but you can start catching up on individual issues now.
Zebrafish by Peter H. Reynolds and Sharon Emerson with illustrations by Renee Kurilla – This comic, which is perfect for younger fans, tells a cute story about a bunch of friends who want to launch a band. Unfortunately, only one of them can play an instrument. They’re hardly going to let that stop them though! The book incorporates a message through a discovery that the band members make about one of their new friends, but this isn’t presented in a heavy-handed manner and doesn’t limit the focus of the story. The cartoon-inspired drawing style is engaging and entertaining. Readers will really enjoy this lighthearted book, which also has a sequel entitled SPF 40.
Black Canary Volume 1: Kicking and Screaming by Brenden Fletcher with art by Annie Wu, Pia Guerra, and Sandy Jarrell – Most comics fans may know Dinah Lance as a superhero, but that isn’t her only talent. In this series, Dinah is going by D.D. as the lead singer in the band Black Canary. Along the way, she is protecting her bandmates and particularly their tween guitarist Ditto who may have some powers of her own. With such a great roster of artists, it should come as no surprise that the artwork is distinctive and really pulls the story together, helping to convey not only Dinah’s personality but also the world that the band inhabits. This is a great read for both superhero fans and music fans.
KISS by Amy Chu with art by Kewber Baal – This fall the band KISS is back in comics once again in a new series written by Amy Chu. In it, four friends must join forces to try to solve the mystery of the Council of Elders with a bit of help. Amy Chu has said that the series will appeal to fans of science fiction and fantasy as well as KISS’ existing fan base, so this should be an interesting title to watch.
Who are your favorite bands in comics? Let us know in the comments!