Something that has always fascinated me is the connection between comics and music. There have been musicians that have written or created comics and of course there are plenty of comics about the music industry in general; 27 and CBGB to name a few. Then there are books like Blue Monday, Hopeless Savages and Scott Pilgrim that infuse music into their books. Like I said I find it fascinating when the two worlds come together, so it’s not surprising that I enjoyed NIX Comics and their quarterly tales. I was sent the first three issues from Writer and Editor Ken Eppstein and like a total ass hat, sat on them forever. I think initially I was really put off by the dialog in the first tale of the first issue. Something about it just bothered me. I think it’s the curse of reading too much, that eventually it’s harder to be surprised. By the third page I knew the outcome of the story and although it was clever, I just didn’t move on past it. Little did I know (I should have it had a table of contents) that it was actually a book of short stories and that I was only one page away from the ending of that tale. So I picked it back up and told myself I have to read this book or I’m just a jerk who got a free comic and frankly I’m glad I did.
There are some reoccurring characters in the issues and my favorite had to be “Bus Stop Ned.” Ned is a strange bird that rides the bus and thus sits at the bus stop a lot. Each tale is only one page and so far always by a different artist, but they strike the right cord with their humor. In the first issue Ned is singing a Johnny Cougar song and the man next to him gets annoyed and smugly comments on the song saying John Mellencamp. Ned goes off on him saying he’ll never call him that and bang end of the panel. It’s simple; it’s funny and very in the musical “know.” There is also a running story about a band of holy men of sorts that fight vampires. I really liked this story as well because it had a very cool horror comic feel to it and great narrations. Honestly at times you wouldn’t know that Ken was writing all of the stories (there are a few guest writers)
Probably the best standalone story was in the third issue about a record store owner that only opened the shop to show off his collection. He’s contacted by a man who’s interested in selling him his collection; he ventures to the basement of a building to check out this collection to die for and finds a warehouse of vinyl records. It’s a fun story that has a great ending.
In general Nix Comics provided a solid outing with each issue. It had a range of stories from humor to horror and two strong themes that ran throughout the book: The devil and music. Now I’m not saying like “worship the devil” in fact there is even a joke about that in one of the stories, no I’m talking about the devil basically running the music industry and I liked how Ken brought it up in different tales. It made the stories feel like they were all happening in the same world rather than a new universe being created for each tale. If you’re interested in music and comics then check out NIX Comics online and grab yourself an issue. Also the fourth issue is releasing this month so keep that in mind as well.
Writer: Ken Eppstein Artists: Various Publisher: Nix Comics Price: $5.00 Website