Shawn Demumbrum of SpazDog Comics Talks About a New Collection of Stories Inspired By The Pixies

Categories: Comics

Brian Miller
Break the Walls: Comic Stories Inspired by The Pixies
See also: Phoenix Artist Makes Smiths Comic, And You Can Help
See also: Unite and Take Over 2: More Stories Inspired By the Songs of The Smiths

Shawn Demumbrum of SpazDog Comics likes comics. And he likes music. While the two are hardly exclusive, it's hard to think of someone more explicitly marrying the two. He's issued two graphic novel collections inspired by the music of Moz and The Smiths, and with Break the Walls, he's turning his attention, and the combined attention of creators like Brian Miller (whose Hi-Fi Colour Design has worked on Uncanny X-Men, Justice League of America, and more), Joshua Hale Fialkov, Ryan Cody, Michael Macropoulos, and more to the music of The Pixies.

Like he did with the Smiths projects, Demumbrum launched a Kickstarter to fund the book, and with a little help from the Pixies' manager, he reached his goal of $2,000 with five days to spare. With potential covers still up for grabs, we spoke with Demumbrum about the project and what rock 'n' roll acts just may wind up in SpazDog pages in the future.

Up on the Sun: Simply put, what is it about The Pixies that inspired this book?

Shawn Demumbrum: I'm a big fan of what was called "alternative music," but was a little late to the game on some of the artists. I discovered a lot of bands through soundtracks, and The Pixies are no exception: I started listening to them after hearing "Wave of Mutilation" on the Pump Up the Volume soundtrack. The great thing about the Pixies is that their lyrics are so open to interpretation which makes it one of the best bands to make an "inspired by" comic. While I was in the middle of pitching the Smiths book to comic creators, I inevitably had people throwing bands ideas at me. "You should do a book on..." or "I don't like/hate the Smiths, but I would do a story for..." I would let them know that my focus was on the Smiths for now and that if the Smiths was successful, we would explore other bands.

The Pixies came up a few times. Similar to the Smiths, I had a short list of people that I knew where fans who I would love to work with. I approached John Layman, creator of Chew, Daniel Davis of Steam Crow and Ryan Cody, contributor to the Eisner Award winning Pop Gun Anthology. Ultimately, John and Daniel had schedules that were too full at the time to contribute to the book, but we ended up with a tight list of talented creators who will do artistic justice to the Pixies songs.

How have submissions differed from the Smiths comic?

The main difference is that while the first Smiths book was mostly working with a lot of local creators who I am fortunate enough to call peers and friends. When the word got out about the Smiths book, I started getting contacted by people from all over the world who wanted to contribute. I quickly developed some editorial standards for volume one of Unite and Take Over that have shaped all future books. I still try to include lots of local talent (and Arizona has lots of it), but now I have some options that include creators that are more widely known outside Arizona.

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