To celebrate their 40th anniversary in April, Anthrax will release a graphic novel based on their 1987 album Among The Living.
In the graphic novel each of the song becomes the subject of its own story. Anthrax have used the character Judge Dredd from the iconic 2000AD comics in their T-Shirts and album covers before. Judge Dredd features in "I Am the Law" created by drummer Charlie Benante and guitarist Scott Ian. The graphic novel/comic book features contributions from Corey Taylor, Rob Zombie and other well known graphic novel artists.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Charlie Benante tells â€œThe one thing that always was in my mind is that I donâ€™t want to just put our name on it. I want to contribute,â€ Benante continues â€œSo, Scott is writing â€˜I Am the Law,â€™ and I did [a] cover based on that story, which I was so happy to do. It really pushed me, because now I have to keep up with these other artists in this book, which was an exciting challenge.â€
Z2 suggested to Anthrax to explore their album Among The Living, Benante agreed because Anthrax â€œwouldnâ€™t be doing this all these years later if it wasnâ€™t for that album. It happens to work well thematically, too. Itâ€™s ripe with stories! This record has truly stood the test of time, and thatâ€™s why weâ€™re doing our first comic book based on this record. The imagery of the songs really lends to the visual storytelling of comics.â€
Benante thinks Among The Living album's concept is still relevant today â€œThe whole idea behind the cover of Among the Living is that there can good or evil hiding anywhere in the world, It could be hidden in a crowd where, just like on the record cover, it is just staring back at you. That concept rings true to this day, in a time where weâ€™re still dealing with monsters. Iâ€™m hoping that this country we live in has effectively killed that monster, but it looks like its seeds have been sown elsewhere.
"Back to the album: Itâ€™s one of the records that I look back on and have great memories of it," Benante continued, "and as I said, I believe it is quite possibly the one we owe our career to.â€
Scott Ian added that the comic-book writers would be â€œtelling stories about what these songs mean to them â€” what the songs inspired them to write. It wasnâ€™t hard to figure out that this is what the book would be when you have the talent we have involved. They donâ€™t need any direction from us, nor do I want to give any. I want to see where they take it.â€
Among the Living will be available in multiple editions, you can pre-order them now.