Tag Archives: z2 comics

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Pens the Foreward to Z2 Comics’ Charlie Parker Graphic Novel

Chasin' the Bird

In honor of the 100th anniversary of Charlie “Bird” Parker’s birth, the life of the jazz icon will be told in the pages of an upcoming graphic novel to be released by Z2 Comics in late September, now with an introduction by basketball and cultural icon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

During his short life, Bird changed the course of music. He was a pioneering composer and improviser who ushered in a new era of jazz and influenced subsequent generations of musicians, writers, and artists. Music industry legend Quincy Jones once said, “I believe that a hundred years from now, when people look back at the 20th century, they will view Bird, Miles and Dizzy as our Mozart, Bach, Chopin, and Tchaikovsky.”

Similarly, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s time in the NBA will remain one of the most celebrated eras in the history of the sport itself. Jabbar, a 6x world champion, holds the record as the NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer, boasting 38,387 points in his twenty-year career. Since retiring in 1989, he has gone on to become a celebrated New York Times-best-selling author, filmmaker, ambassador of education, columnist and cultural commentator. As a social justice activist, Kareem was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom, our nation’s highest civilian honor by former President Barack Obama. As a student and Jazz historian, Kareem’s voice is the perfect introduction to the world of Charlie Parker in California.

This groundbreaking graphic novel tells the story of Bird’s time in L.A. starting in December 1945, where Bird and Dizzy Gillespie brought frenetic sounds of bebop from the East Coast jazz underground to the West Coast for a two-month residency at Billy Berg’s Hollywood jazz club. This marked the beginning of a tumultuous two year-stint for Bird bumming around L.A., showing up at jam sessions, crashing on people’s couches, causing havoc in public places, and recording some of his most groundbreaking tracks, “A Night in Tunisia” and “Ornithology,” as well as “Relaxin’ At Camarillo,” inspired by the end of his time in SoCal at the Camarillo State Hospital. The novel explores Bird’s relationship with the characters and events he encountered during his time in L.A. including recording some of his signature songs with Dial Record founder Ross Russell, a brief but influential stay at the home of famed jazz photographer William Claxton, a party for the ages at the ranch home of artist Jirayr Zorthian, and others who found themselves in the orbit of the jazz genius.

Chasin’ The Bird is being released during the centennial of Bird, dubbed Bird 100, as one of the many initiatives celebrating the extraordinary career of the trailblazing jazz icon, including exciting new music releases, festivals and events, prestigious exhibitions, special partnerships, exclusive collectible art, and myriad of independent appreciations and concerts. This special graphic novel, named for Charlie Parker’s 1947 standard, and adapts one of the sunnier, but darker chapters in the life of Bird, and is available for preorder now directly through the Z2 webstore. The deluxe limited edition includes a vinyl 45, and both are released in conjunction with a new album from Verve Records/UMG spanning Bird’s L.A. period. The details of the tracks accompanying the graphic novel, and the upcoming album will be announced soon.  

SDCC 2020: Z2 Comics’ Comic-Con@Home Panel Lineup

Z2 Comics

Z2 Comics is going virtual for San Diego Comic-Con with the Soundtracks to Fandom panel to take place on Thursday, July 23 at 3pm PST!

Z2 Comics have pioneered the marriage of comics with music, producing collaborations with such notable acts as Electric Century, Gorillaz, Poppy, Yungblud, and Skillet, as well as American legends The Grateful Dead and The Doors. The pairing of some of the finest talents in comics with groundbreaking and legendary musicians has led to a rich, immersive experience that pushes the possibilities of what both comics and music can do. Join creators Dave Chisholm (Chasin’ the Bird: Charlie Parker in Los Angeles), Chris Miskiewicz and Noah Van Sciver (Grateful Dead: Origins), Leah Moore (Morrison Hotel), and musician Yungblud, rock legend Robby Krieger of The Doors, and Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux, with a special appearance by 2D of the Gorillaz  Moderated by longtime music journalist and critic Ryan J. Downey.

Tune into Z2’s Comic Con @Home panel on Thursday at 3pm PST right here.

Discover The Final Symphony with A Beethoven Anthology

the final symphony: a beethoven anthology
cover by David Mack

Z2 Comics and Deutsche Grammophon have announced a new original graphic novel looking 250 years into the past at one of the most celebrated musicians of all time: Ludwig van Beethoven. It will be accompanied by a new compilation album from Deutsche Grammophon, mirroring the story through the composer’s own works.

A towering figure in the history of music, Beethoven’s ground-breaking works continue to thrill audiences today – not only in concert halls, where he is the most performed composer (over 13% of all classical concerts worldwide in 2019 featured a work by Beethoven), but also on digital platforms where he has millions of monthly listeners. Beyond his prolific output, he faced many struggles in his personal life, with tumultuous relationships and loss of hearing affecting him profoundly.

Beethoven’s influence on pop-culture has been immeasurable and his compositions have soundtracked and inspired some of the most iconic moments of the last quarter of a millennium. His music has been featured in over 1500 films and TV shows including: A Clockwork Orange, Die HardBill & Ted’s Excellent AdventureThe Breakfast Club, Dead Poet’s Society, Django Unchained, Disney’s Fantasia, The King’s SpeechColumbo, Sherlock, The Handmaid’s Tale and The Simpsons; it’s been sampled by Alicia Keys, Nas, Ennio Morricone, Giorgio Moroder, ELO, Kiss, Busta Rhymes, and the Beatles; it’s been sent into orbit on the Voyager spacecraft; it’s influenced literary works like TS Eliot’s Four Quartets; and the comic strip Peanuts even featured a Beethoven storyline! Beethoven’s legacy has also been recognized in the cosmos, with an asteroid belt and a crater named after him on the planet Mercury.

Told across 144 pages, the graphic novel follows the life of a musical icon through striking new visuals, created by world-class artists. It will be released by Z2 Comics and Deutsche Grammophon in November, ahead of the composer’s 250th anniversary in December.

Beethoven: The Graphic Novel will be released in fine bookstores and comic shops everywhere in November, and is available to order now directly from Z2 Comics webstore.

Grateful Dead: Origins is Being Released August 4 for Jerry Week 2020

Grateful Dead Origins

In 2019, Z2 Comics entered into its largest partnership to date chronicling the history of the iconic Grateful Dead. Grateful Dead Origins takes an in-depth and personal look at the formation of one of the most important American rock bands of all time, exploring the early days of Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Pigpen, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart. The story of the band’s transformation from a bar band performing as the Warlocks to becoming the creators of their own sound and forefathers for the jamband culture is depicted in the original story written by Chris Miskiewicz and illustrated by Noah Van Sciver. The team behind the book will appear on the publisher’s Comic-Con @Home panel on July 23 at 3pm PST, via the official Comic-Con YouTube channel!

Grateful Dead Origins will be available in a strictly limited collector’s deluxe edition to be released on August 4. The standard softcover edition will feature an exclusive download of rare selections from the early years of the band. The limited-run collector’s deluxe edition will come in a hardcover, oversized, individually-numbered coffee table edition featuring exclusive prints and autographed by the comic creators, along with an exclusive vinyl LP of an unreleased recording from an August 1968 performance at the Fillmore West in San Francisco. The deluxe edition is available for pre-order. Pre-orders are now available for all configurations of Grateful Dead Origins to in time for this year’s celebration of Jerry Garcia.

This previously unreleased show includes the first known West Coast live rendition of “St. Stephen,” and the first known performance of its “William Tell Bridge,” which would join “St. Stephen” to “The Eleven.” The show was recorded to 8-track analog tape, and was mastered by Grammy-winning engineer David Glasser at Airshow Mastering in Boulder, CO.

Yungblud Announces a Second Graphic Novel

Yungblud’s debut graphic novel, The Twisted Tales of the Ritalin Club took the pop culture world by storm last year, selling out within days of its initial release, with fans scrambling to grab a copy. Today on his massively popular YouTube show, the young and influential English artist announces his return to comics with the sequel: Weird Times at Quarry Banks University.

From the same beautifully eccentric mind of music sensation Yungblud comes the follow up to last year’s breakout hit graphic novel, again pairing him with co-writer Ryan O’Sullivan of the White Noise collective that brings all of the same delightfully dark humor back to the page in Weird Times at Quarry Banks University. Now eighteen, and having graduated from Blackheart’s High School; Yungblud, plus his super-powered friends Harmony, Scout, Zombie Joshua, Em, and Encore are now enrolled as students at Quarry Bank University. At first, it seems like university life is all drugs, sex and relationship drama. But when a new foe with a familiar face arrives from the Manga Dimension, the Ritalin Club find themselves caught in a trip that may cost them their very lives!

Yungblud Presents: The Twisted Tales of the Ritalin Club Volume 2: Weird Times at Quarry Banks University is co-written by Ryan Sullivan, with art by Derick Jones and Minomiyabl, and is available for preorder now in multiple editions. Visit the Z2 website now to order today in both standard and limited deluxe editions. This special 9×15 oversized book comes packaged in a gorgeous slipcase and includes an exclusive vinyl variant of the young artist’s upcoming album, with each copy signed by Yungblud himself in a one-time limited edition of 1,200.

Yungblud Presents: The Twisted Tales of the Ritalin Club Volume 2: Weird Times at Quarry Banks University

The Doors’ Morrison Hotel Gets a Graphic Novel Adaptation from Z2 Comics

Five decades after the release of their landmark album, Morrison Hotel, The Doors, and Z2 Comics announce a brand new graphic novel written by Leah Moore to be released on October 13.

With an intoxicating, genre-blending sound, provocative and uncompromising songs, and the mesmerizing power of singer Jim Morrison’s poetry and presence, The Doors had a transformative impact not only on popular music but on popular culture.

Their 5th studio album, Morrison Hotel was released in 1970 and was a return to their blues roots, which featured some of their most timeless songs such as “Roadhouse Blues,” “Peace Frog,” and “Waiting for the Sun.” The album was a critical and commercial success upon its release and still stands today as one of the band’s classic albums.

Z2’s Morrison Hotel will feature some of the lore that led to their status as the architects of counterculture, influencing artists, poets, and outsiders for generations to come, set against the backdrop of the close of the free spirit of the 1960s into the tumultuous 1970s. A decade in which women, African Americans, Native Americans, gays, lesbians and other marginalized people continued their fight for equality, and many Americans joined the protest against the ongoing war in Vietnam.

Morrison Hotel will be formatted as an anthology written by Leah Moore, in collaboration with the surviving members of the legendary rock band and drawn by artists from around the comic book world, each weaving the band’s influence into the 144 pages of story.

Morrison Hotel will be released in finer comic shops and bookstores everywhere on October 13, with a special deluxe limited edition available exclusively through both Z2’s website and The Doors website. This limited edition of 5000 copies comes bound in a beautiful slipcase, and includes an exclusive 50th Anniversary Edition 12” picture disc of the complete Morrison Hotel album.  The LP, which includes the classic “Roadhouse Blues” , will feature the original 1970 stereo mix remastered by The Doors’ longtime engineer/mixer Bruce Botnick.  The limited edition set will also include three exclusive art prints (9” x 14.5”) featuring images from the book, along with a certificate of authenticity signed by writer Leah Moore.

Morrison Hotel

Gorillaz Debut in Comics with the Gorillaz Almanac from Z2 Comics

Stop the presses! Twenty years in the making, the Gorillaz Alamanac is the very first annual by Gorillaz, published this October 2020 in partnership with the renowned Z2 Comics.

Inspired by the great British tradition of the hardback annual, Gorillaz Almanac is a full color, one-of-a-kind, fun-packed, 120+ page, sideways homage to two glorious decades of Gorillaz. Jammed with exclusive new artwork, including the first ever strip to star 2D, Noodle, Murdoc Niccals, and Russel Hobbs; puzzles, games and more; plus a raft of special guest appearances from Gorillaz collaborators past and present, Gorillaz Alamanac is a compendium of delights which finally puts the most real band around on the printed page.

Gorillaz Almanac by Gorillaz is available in October 2020 in three special editions:
Gorillaz Almanac Standard: £24 / $24.99
Gorillaz Almanac Deluxe: £80 / $99.99
Gorillaz Almanac Super Deluxe: £160 / $199.99
Pre order HERE

Gorillaz Almanac

Duncan Jones and Alex De Campi Open a Retailer Level of the Madi: Once Upon a Time in the Future Kickstarter

Madi

Z2 Comics unveils multiple tiers geared toward comic shops in the Kickstarter campaign for the third chapter of the Duncan Jones directed saga he began with MOON!

In just under two weeks, the campaign has already raised over $275,000, making this one of the most successful comics Kickstarter campaigns in recent history! This unique project pairs Jones with some of the biggest names in comics, as assembled by the multiple-Eisner nominated writer/editor, Alex de Campi, and has now proven to be one of the most anticipated releases of the year.

MADI is a 260-page road trip graphic novel set in the future, by film director Duncan Jones and writer Alex de Campi, and drawn by some of comics’ most exciting artists including Glenn Fabry, Simon Bisley, Duncan Fegredo, and Pia Guerra.

Madi Preston, a veteran of Britain’s elite special operations J-Squad unit, is burnt out and up to her eyeballs in debt. She and the rest of her team have retired from the military but are now trapped having to pay to service and maintain the technology put into them during their years of service.   They’re working for British conglomerate Liberty Inc as mercenaries, selling their unique ability to be remote controlled by specialists while in the field, and the debts are only growing as they get injured completing missions. We meet Madi as she decides she’s had enough.  She will take an off-the-books job that should earn her enough to pay out her and her sister, but when the piece of tech she’s supposed to steal turns out to be a kid, and she suddenly blacks out… she finds herself on the run from everyone she’s ever known.

In a globe-spanning adventure from Shanghai to Soho, Madi has to stay one step ahead of the giant corporations closing in on her from all sides…

MADI will be published in softcover by Z2 Comics in November of 2020 and is now available for comic shops and their customers to preorder in hardcover exclusively through Kickstarter, with a special discount of 55% off of cover pricing with a valid Diamond account number.

Z2 Comics and Skillet Return to Eden this Fall

Z2’s fall lineup continues as they’ve announced a second collaboration with GRAMMY-nominated rockers Skillet . They’ll return to the post-apocalyptic world of Eden, as established in their 2019 graphic novel debut of the same name.

Eden II: The Aftermath pairs Random Shock Studios with Skillet frontman John Cooper and his Eden artist Chris Hunt in October of this year.

Two editions will again be available; both the standard and limited deluxe edition, the details of which will be revealed within the coming weeks. The deluxe edition is formatted to sit perfectly next to the previous volume on the bookshelf of every discerning rock fan or comic book reader. Both are available for preorder now through the Z2 website.

Eden II: The Aftermath

Z2 Comics Adds 4 New Staff

Z2 Comics

Just over a month before what will likely be the publisher’s biggest release to date with Grateful Dead: Origins, and trailing on the heels of the announcement of a partnership with Mikey Way’s Electric Century for their next album and original graphic novel, Z2 Comics announces the first wave of hires under a now proven business model.

Jeremy Atkins joins Z2 most recently from David Steward II’s Polarity family of brands, after three years of overseeing publicity efforts for Lion Forge Comics, positioning the company at the center of the conversation around diversity and representation in pop culture. Atkins will serve as the vice president of PR and marketing, driving brand awareness in traditional markets, as well as navigating an ever-changing media landscape across music, publishing, pop culture, and beyond.

Rantz Hoseley has long been finding a path forward for music-related graphic fiction, including the Eisner and Harvey-winning Comic Book Tattoo anthology, paying tribute to the songs of Tori Amos, and most recently working with Motley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx to adapt his memoir The Heroin Diaries at Heavy Metal, where he served as managing editor. Hoseley will serve as Z2’s senior editor, with projects to be announced in the coming months.

Anthony Lauletta comes to Z2 and the comic book industry most recently from Danny Wimmer Presents, the largest independent live events promoter in North America. While there, he served as the director of digital strategy, following successful stints at Alternative Press and Townsquare Media. Lauletta will serve as the publisher’s vice president of digital strategy, overseeing digital marketing efforts to drive brand awareness and direct-to-consumer sales through the Z2 website.

Dominique Roses begins her career at Z2 Comics after previously working with Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclair on the successful series Rocket Girl and Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. She is a graduate of New York’s School of Visual Arts, with an MFA in creative writing from The New School. Roses joins as Z2’s marketing and production associate, working with the company’s executives to execute efforts across departments.

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