Gunning For Hits
Music Thriller – Issue One
Writer: Jeff Rougvie
Colorist & Letterer: Casey Silver
Release date: January 9, 2019
Rock N Roll…
With Gunning For Hits creator Jeff Rougvie parlays his behind the scenes knowledge of the music industry and imaginative storyteller into a Madmen meets Breaking Bad convergence of art versus commerce. Every artiste needs a patron, and anyone who has read Frederic Dannen’s Hit Men: Power Brokers and Fast Money Inside the Music Business or Tommy James’ autobiography (Me, The Mob and The Music) knows that at least in part the music business was shepherded by an undercurrent of the underworld.
Gunning For Hits takes that premise to the next level following the exploits of 1980’s A&R man Martin Mills. That’s artists and repertoire – or talent scout – to the uninitiated. Find and sign potential money making acts before your competitors do – at any cost. Issue 1 deals with some novel contract negotiations.
What Goes On…
Each Gunning For Hits installment will contain a unique “background” feature. The first issue’s mid-story sidesteps into “how the record industry works” and is worth the price of admission. The arcana of how a musical group is screwed at every level would play as black comedy if it wasn’t mostly fact.
Artist Moritat (Harley Quinn, The Spirit) illustrates this section with a simple Doonesbury meets Monopoly gamecards look that stylistically separates it from the narrative.
I’ll Be Your Mirror…
Rougvie uses the last several pages of the book to tell his own back story from the moment he purchased his first comic book to today when his own book finally becomes a tangible reality. His work for the Rykodisc label found him godfathering early compact disc re-issues of David Bowie’s catalog such as the Sound and Vision boxset. Those details are as interesting as the fictional fixations they’ve spawned.
For millennial relevancy (and your listening pleasure) there’s a companion Spotify playlist for every issue. There’s also additional social media content. The Martin Mills character already has an “excerpts from the journal of” Twitter account (@martinmillshits).
In the non-fictional world Jeff Rougvie heads the Supermegabot music label.
Sister Ray Says… (Um, I mean SkeletonPete Says)
I’m not on Spotify, so I listened to The Velvet Underground Live At Max’s Kansas City while I wrote this review. Now I need a shower.