The death of a band member usually forces the immediate dissolution of the band, but in the new KaBOOM! series Coady and The Creepies it only takes them to a new, even more unusual level.
Liz Prince and Amanda Kirk have created an alternative version of the all-girl band trope from Archie's Josie & The Pussycats, influsing it with punk rock and the supernatural. It all starts when a van accident leaves the lead singer/bassist Corey scarred, the guitarist Criss bound to a wheelchair, and the drummer Coady dead but back as a ghost.
But they're not the only supernatural sister supergroup on the musical scene, and Newsarama talked with Prince to get the Coady and The Creepies details.
Newsarama: Liz, what is Coady and the Creepies about, and who are the main characters?
Liz Prince: Coady and the Creepies is about a touring teenage punk band called the Creepies, made up of triplet sisters; Corey (bassist and lead singer with a wicked scar across her face who hates Harry Potter references), Criss (guitarist who shreds in a wheelchair), and Coady (the drummer who is also a ghost, but don't tell her sisters, because they don't know!).
Nrama: What was the initial inspiration for this idea?
Prince: Amanda and I are both active in the same general punk scene, albeit from different sides of the country, but we wanted to make a book about what it's like to be a touring band that lives in a van and doesn't have a glamorous lifestyle.
Shannon Watters at KaBOOM! wanted to do a book that was a more alternative take on on the well worn all-girl band trope of books like Josie and the Pussycats, and I took that as an invitation to basically just write about the things my friends and I enjoy about punk, but with a fun supernatural twist.
Nrama: How did you and Amanda come together to work on this?
Prince: Amanda is someone who I met through the intersection of punk and comics: we both are contributors to Razorcake magazine, which is a long standing punk zine based out of Los Angeles. I knew that she would be the perfect artist for this series because she knows that when I say punk, I'm not talking about a dude in a studded leather jacket with a green mohawk, so her character designs and artwork would really fit the story.
Nrama: What is your collaborative process like? What do you enjoy about working with one another, i.e., what does each of you feel the other brings to the project?
Prince: I'm really used to writing and drawing my own comics, so it's been fun to see an artist I admire translating my script into drawings. But honestly, the creative process is really very segregated: I write the issues, address any notes from editorial, and then Amanda draws it and I usually don't see the artwork until the issue is finished!
We have been collaborating directly on the variant covers, where I'm doing the linework, and Amanda is watercoloring them, which has been a cool way to for me to flex my drawing muscles on this comic as well.
Nrama: What are some of the challenges in doing a musical act as a comic book, i.e. depicting their songs in a non-audio medium? Have you thought of recording any of their songs with yourself or a "real" band?
Prince: There is a real song written for the Creepies by Amanda and I's super talented friend Danny Bailey of the bay area pop punk band Jabber! It's been awesome to be able to pull in friends from other mediums to get involved with the Coady and the Creepies world. Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club, that is a punk record label/publisher/merchandiser has a variant cover for the first issue also, so I'm just trying to get my tribe in on the fun.
Nrama: Who is your favorite band member?
Prince: I don't have a favorite! They're all really fun to write, and since I created them all, they each embody a different personality trait that I admire. Amanda designed Coady to look like a little teenage version of me, so I guess it's easiest for me to cosplay as her, but I like Corey's sass and Criss's obsession with the occult.
Nrama: How far ahead do you have the story planned?
Prince: This is only a four-issue miniseries, but I do have other storylines cooking if we get to work with this world more.
Nrama: Who are some of your favorite all-girl bands, fictional and non-fictional?
Prince: Sadly, there really aren't that many all-girl bands involved in punk, which was one of the reasons why I wanted the Creepies to be triplet sisters. Bands have female members that I like a lot are Worriers, and Lauren Denitzio's older band the Measure (SA), Jabber, the Muffs, the Unlovables, Chumped, Swearin', Hop Along, Julien Baker (I could go on forever, should I go on forever?)
Nrama: How would you pitch this to someone to get them interested in trying out this book?
Prince: The Creepies are being called "The Lumberjanes' favorite band," and I think that's a pretty good way to describe what folks will be getting from the story.