Becoming ROCKSTARS with Joe Harris and Megan Hutchison (Interview)
Your backstage pass to the dark world of rock ‘n’ roll is coming with the exciting first issue of IMAGE COMIC’s Rockstars #1! The story follows Jackie as he is trying to uncover the truth behind an urban legend that hints at something much darker at play. The issue is well-written and the artwork perfectly compliments the story page to page and I am excited for where the story is headed. I had the pleasure of interviewing the creators of Rockstars, writer Joe Harris and artist Megan Hutchison to give us a little insight into the story and what inspired them to create such a work of art. Rockstars #1 will make it’s debut on December 14th, 2016!
Joe Harris (JH): Thanks for interviewing us. I’m glad you dig it. The response so far has been really gratifying.
Megan Hutchison (MH): Thank you!
GWW: How did you come up with idea for this story?
JH: I’m a rock nerd with an affinity for anecdotal stories about the bands and music I love, so I’ve been wanting to do a rock ‘n’ roll book for a long time.
GWW: What inspiration did you draw on to decide the look and feel of the comic?
JH: Well, it’s obviously steeped in the 1970s so I think I’ve referenced movies and shows from the era, on my end, when presenting the ideas to Megan (as well as Kelly Fitzpatrick and Tom Muller, our colorist and designer we’re collaborating with). I also have a lot of affection for Creem Magazine and the like, so that sort of sensational coverage always filters down. I’m sure you’ll be able to find some references from Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same in there too.
MH: I wanted it to be darker and funkier than I usually draw to play into the rock n roll mysticism. When I’m working I do a lot of research so much of my design is based on historic photos.
GWW: What are your plans for Jackie and Dorothy now that they have found themselves in the presence of the evil they were hunting?
JH: Jackie is on a journey of self-discovery but doesn’t realize it yet. We’re going to get into the nature of this talents, or powers related to his being attuned to what’s really up behind so many of rock’s urbane legends, dark secrets and untold stories. While Dorothy, for her part, is going to be chasing down stories, both the sort Jackie’s orientation and proclivities expose her to, as well as Jackie’s own family history and tragic, darkly magical secrets therein.
MH: Over the whole scope of the project, I’m excited to see how Jackie and Dorothy butt heads and also help each other grow and mature.
JH: Absolutely. This opening arc, “Nativity in Blacklight” is all about letting Jackie in on the fact that there’s more going on behind the scenes, and behind his own family and familial history, than he realized. Exploring the nature of his late father’s life, death and associations are going to really propel this character and series.
GWW: The music of the 70’s plays a huge influence on the story. What about that era of rock and roll inspired you to craft a story around it and what musical artists inspired you during that process?
JH: It’s my favorite era by a big margin. I love the majesty and glamor and the arena rock… the innovation and the exploration blossoming out of the 1960s and the splintering of subgenres as massive bands rose, then stagnated… the punk that rose in response, the excess that consumed so many. I love it all. I consider myself to be a pretty good historian when it comes to many of my favorite bands, from Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd, to some of the smaller bands with almost sidebar stories with regard to where they fit in the pantheon, from the MC5 to Gram Parsons to Heart, Patti Smith and the Bruce Springsteen juggernaut.
MH: I love the music and fashion of the 70’s and naturally gravitate towards that aesthetic. The 70’s was such an influential time in music and culture because humans were breaking though this oppressive social barrier and there was a palpable occult undertone throughout the whole movement. It’s dark and mystical, like magic could have existed during that time.
Thank you to Joe Harris and Megan Hutchison for speaking with us. If black magic and rock ‘n’ roll speak to your soul, be sure to pick up your copy of Rockstars #1 “Nativity in Blacklight” to find out more about Jackie’s quest to solve the unsolvable mysteries and urban legends of the 70’s rock underground! I am absolutely looking forward to where this story leads and what dark rabbit holes it will uncover.