COMIC VINE: First things first, Sam. Could you give everybody the low-down on CBGB - - the comic and the club?
CBGB was THE seminal downtown New York rock club. It opened its doors in the mid-70s and became the launch pad for acts like The Ramones, Talking Heads, Television, Blondie, Patti Smith, and a dozen more amazing bands. It was one of the few (two?) clubs in New York at the time to give a venue to "street rock" which later became punk rock, new wave, and everything following.
CBGB: The Comic Book is a four issue anthology featuring untold tales from in and around the club, and the once-in-a-lifetime scene that came up around it. It's one part love letter, one part distorted guitar solo, one part back room make out session, and twelve parts whiskey. == TEASER ==
COMIC VINE: Now, your half of the first issue is called "The Helsinki Syndrome." What's the roundhouse hook for this strip?
It's 1979 and a young CBGB scene rat discovers the secrets of his recently deceased, terminally agoraphobic, somewhat creepy uncle. Bob Dylan is implicated.
COMIC VINE: I'm not as well versed in music history as I ought to be, so I'm curious... is this short the "secret origin" of a real band or musician? The whole notion of this punk kid getting inspiration from his eccentric uncle's death is pretty wild.
Music history is littered with little stories like these. I find them infinitely more compelling than Behind The Music: Hoobastank.
COMIC VINE: This comic's something of a love letter to noise rock and multi-media performance art. Are you a fan of those genres? Who're some of your favorite artists?
Yes and no. I love all sorts of things that are broken down, f***ed up, and wilding out, but a lot of the work under those genres is hella unlistenable.
Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music was a direct inspiration for this story. I grew up thinking it was just about the worst example of pompous self indulgent piece of trash in a career often built on pompous self indulgence. But with time (and certain "statea of mind") I began to appreciate its finer points and understand that sometimes pieces of trash have their own, self destructive charm. That said, it's still nearly impossible to listen to all the way through (but I did so while writing the script).
In terms of the lineage of noise rock I'll name check Sonic Youth and F*** Buttons, two of the loudest and best live acts I've ever seen. Although I can hardly let this question pass without paying homage to Kraftwerk as well. Without whom, etc.
COMIC VINE: Rob G's got a pretty punk rock name. Who is this cat? What's it been liking riffing with him?
Rob's an incredible artist whose work in the industry goes back a number of years. My favorite work by him is TEENAGERS FROM MARS which he did with Rick Spears. But he's also done work for DC, Image, films, video games, and awesome valentines for his daughter.
I first met Rob in 2003 at APE in San Francisco, just a day or two after his Brooklyn apartment burned to the ground. I was immediately in awe, he just lost nearly everything he owned and he still made it across the country to represent his comic book. That is DEDICATION. That is f***in' LOVE.
Later that weekend the two of us plus our buddies Dennis Culver and James Sime took a bat to a bust of Kraven the Hunter. That was LOVE, too. And LIQUOR. There's a comic about that somewhere.
Rob's been away from comic work for awhile but he crushed this story like he never left. I think people are going to be psyched to see him back.
COMIC VINE: If readers want to learn more about the Sam Humphries enigma and experience more of his work, where should they look?
They should look into their hearts, or http://www.samhumphries.com
COMIC VINE: Finally, I have to ask... what's the story on the wetshirts?
Ha! The Wetshirts are myself, Ian Broyles, Lou Noble, and Laura Taylor. We are a Los Angeles-based photo crew of like-minded and un-like-minded troublemakers. We go on crazy adventures and shoot awesome photos. Sometimes we just have bar-b-ques. Much Motherf***in' Wetshirts Love to Ian, Lou, and Laura! And all the Wetshirts fans! You can check out more at our website: http://thewetshirts.tumblr.com
-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Studios and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia. Pre-order the HYBRID BASTARDS! hardcover now on Amazon.com.