Andy Biersack, member of the Black Veil Brides, was joined by artist Eryk Donovan at mid-town Manhattan’s Booth Gallery for an unveiling of the cover art for Biersack’s upcoming graphic novel The Ghost of Ohio. The project will be released in conjunction with Biersack’s next album in his persona of Andy Black which is set for 2019.
The intimate gathering took place the evening before a New York Comic Con panel discussion called From the Stage to the Page: Musicians Creating Comics which highlighted the emergence of musical artists into the graphic arts and scripting scene. Biersack was a featured panelist along with Darryl McDaniels (Run DMC), Canadian alt-pop artist Lights, and electronic dance music meister Steve Aioki, all of whom have comic books either out or soon to be released.
It’s not such a stretch for people who regularly create your favorite songs to take their lyrical ideas into the visual domain, and many are visual artists in their own right. By his own account Biersack first came to rock music via comics. “The truth is that I would never have discovered my love of rock music without my passion for comic books and characters like Batman and Spawn, which ultimately lead me to larger than life bands like KISS and The Misfits. To be able to combine my love of the graphic novel medium with a concept record is a dream come true and something I have wanted to do for many years” So this Z2 Comics collaboration seems the perfect fit as Biersack is joined by writer Scott Tuft, known for his work on Swamp Thing, while artist Donovan is noted for his illustration of Constantine and Batman.
Z2 Comics has previously partnered with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, jazz trumpeter Dave Chisholm and DJ Paul Okenfold. Their most recent collab is with Japan’s BABYMETAL for their origin myth Apochrypha: the Legend of BABYMETAL. The deluxe edition is open for worldwide pre-order and expected to ship in December 2018.
I’ll assume, based on his most recent single, a cover of Sinatra theme song My Way, which includes home video of the singer in preteen performances, that Andy is in an auto-biographical/nostalgic mode. Considering his description of the story as a “tale of loneliness, redemption, and strength” that “takes place in southwestern Ohio and spans across historical eras from the 1800’s to modern day,” The Ghost of Ohio promises to fit securely into the sense-of-place category most recently highlighted in the PBS The Great American Read episode called Who Am I? For me it brings to mind the mid-western ambiance of Ray Bradbury stories like Something Wicked this Way Comes, and my season favorite The Halloween Tree.
Quite appropriately, libations for the evening were highlighted by another form of rock n roll pairing, Iron Maiden Trooper Beer, emblazoned with the band’s menacing mascot “Eddie.” A hearty quaff of this Robinson’s Brewery creation will be appreciated by fans of British stalwarts like Newcastle Nut Brown Ale and Boddingtons. I’m happy to have another fave to add to my short list of go-to brews.