The Gr1nd recently talked to Chris Orndoff, the publisher at Headmetal Comics. He broke down what his graphic novel, The Headmetal Racket is about and let us know the players involved. Check out the interview and check out Headmetal Comics too.
What is Headmetal Comics?
Headmetal Comics started one night at band practice. I told my friends about a short story I had written for a freshman english class; the project was to draw an original character and create that character’s origin story. I hadn’t drawn a friggin’ thing in over ten years, but in my mind’s eye… there he was… Blueseph J. Headmetal: the boy born with a guitar head.
My friends loved the character and the story. One of them said, “lets make a mini-comic about this character and use it as the cd insert for our first album.” We still haven’t finished the album (we are still jamming though), but as for the the comic… We have since collaborated internationally with an AMAZING Italian artist to create an 88 page graphic novel starring Blueseph J. Headmetal .
So, Headmetal Comics is nothing more than a group of energetic people making things.
What is your graphic novel about?
The quick pitch for The Headmetal Racket goes like this: Born by way of an amplified vibrator… the guitar headed boy must fight the forces of media consolidation and save our freedom of speech. And that’s the main theme: Freedom of Speech vs Media Consolidation.
The mainstream media is a shill for something toxic. At some point you have to turn down the outside influence and create a real life, which supports your original thoughts and feelings.
How do you mix music and comics?
We created what we call a “Comic with *Crescendo.” A crescendo is an Italian word, which means a gradual increase in loudness or intensity The Headmetal Racket starts off in black & white with very limited use of color throughout the first 4 chapters. Gradually, a monochrome color scheme rolls through chapters 5-9. The story then explodes into full color for chapters 10-13.
As I mentioned before, our comic is 88 pages long — there are also 88 keys on a piano — this is not a coincidence. There are thirteen chapters to represent the full chromatic scale, and the octave. There are also direct references to my favorite Rock & Roll icons as well as my favorite songs.
Here is great review I received from a talented St. Louis writer that really speaks to how we mix comics and music: “You’re narrative is very lyrical in the way it bounces forward over long stretches of time, stopping only briefly to highlight a key character moment or interaction, hitting you with exactly enough information you need for the scene. In a standard comic, I probably wouldn’t like the stilted narrative so much, but I think it works for your book because it’s so musical not only in theme but also in structure.” – Aaron Walther
What is the role you play on the book?
In case my long-windedness hasn’t given it away already, I’m the writer. I’m also the lyricist in our band. Sometimes I enjoy complete silence; other times it seems like I won’t shut the fuck up.
Shouts out to: Ryan McCann – Artist and Chef de cuisine, Aaren Vaz – Artist, Musician, Photographer/Videographer, Suicidella (Valentina Sylvie Greco) – Italian Renaissance Master, Leah Lederman – Editor and Grammar Star
What other projects have you worked on?
This is my first creative venture. Ever. It took us three years and some rocky roads to complete this project, but it was an amazing experience. I loved it. I’m ready for more.
What other plans do yo have comic wise?
I currently have two (possibly three) artists working on single page anti-littering comic PSAs. Have you ever been on a float trip? They are awesome! Except when drunks get too drunk and litter, that is. My goal is to have the one page comic PSAs hanging on the backs of the seats on float trip busses across the beautiful state of Missouri. This project is 100% for charity, and I have a LONG way to go to make it a reality, but I’ve already got a good start.
My next passion project is a children’s book. The quick pitch goes like this: A young girl’s life is upended after a school project opens her eyes to the true nature of man kind. Are humans the only species who kill for the sake of making art? I’m in talks with another AMAZING artist right now and things are looking good! If we can seal the deal this book will go into production in January 2016.
I’ve got a lot of ideas I want to make into realities.
How was project comic con?
Fucking dope. Fucking loved it. Arguably the best Con in St. Louis.
If you liked this article then check out this interview with Corey Fryia.