The long-running Vans Warped Tour is taking on a comic book theme with this year's slate of dates, with help from Valiant Entertainment. Valiant characters will be featured in the tour's merchandise and posters, and the publisher will have a convention-style booth and art installation at unspecified stops. Valiant also plans to launch a Faith one-shot comic book supporting the non-profit Keep A Breast Foundation at some point during the summer tour.
"We’ve never had a comic partner for the artwork before,” said Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman. “This is definitely the most integrated collaboration of anything we’ve ever done. Them being able to be out on the road with us will allow us to put some cool stuff together. Musicians, especially the ones we work with, seem to have an affinity for video gaming and comic books, so once they start seeing the art I think they’ll get really excited. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them ask to get a couple guitars laminated with this art.”
It is unknown which events Valiant will have a presence at, but company CEO Dinesh Shamdasani said several unspecified artists are "incredibly excited" to appear.
“One of the things Kano told us he was really excited about, was he felt this was a great fit because the Warped Tour is so eclectic in the music they bring to their tour, and Valiant is very eclectic in the kinds of characters we have and the genres we tap into,” said Shamdasani. “We’ve been talking to other artists in our stable and they’re all incredibly excited. Everyone knows the Warped Tour, some of them have been to it, so they’re all vying to come out and do something there. We’ve been talking about how we can build a live element into what we do – potentially create a comic book cover live at the Warped Tour and maybe photograph it there so fans can share the experience in stores.”
Although comic book publishers and creators have appeared at the Warped Tour in the past, this would be the first time a comic publisher has been an overall partner and contributed the poster artwork.
The 2017 Vans Warped Tour is scheduled to kick off June 16 in Seattle, Washington, and wrap up August 6 in Los Angeles.