Long running indie publisher Fantagraphics has recently joined the superhero/shared universe game with their all new line of books entitled All Time Comics, which feature a whole new universe of superheroes, done in a style paying tribute to comic book eras gone by. The All Time Comics brand at Fantagraphics is a joint venture from underground comics artist Josh Bayer, and his brother director Samuel Bayer, whose name you might recognize from directing music videos like Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” The first title in the line releases was All Time Comics: Crime Destroyer #1, and now the second series from All Time Comics has arrived with badass heroine Bull Whip
All Time Comics: Bull Whip #1 hit comic shops this April 12, and to celebrate, series writer Josh Bayer has created a musical playlist on Spotify featuring the songs that, in his mind, best exemplify just what the character of Bullwhip represents. This also gives all the readers quite the cool soundtrack to listen to while reading All Time Comics: Bullwhip #1. You can check out the entire Spotify playlist, along with Bayer’s descriptions for each track and preview art for the first issue, down below:
BULLWHIP, THE PLAYLIST
By Josh Bayer
Hi, This is Josh Bayer, and this is the Spotify soundtrack for the second issue of ALL TIME COMICS, BULLWHIP #1. Be sure to listen to these songs while reading the issue. I timed it out so that if you read along while listening, and you pay special attention to all the details, and read really slow, the tracks should last exactly as long as it takes to read the issue. Thanks for embarking on this multi-media experience with me.
Incredible song, both melodic and driving, like a combination power ballad and fun candy pop song. Kathleen Hanna is one of the greatest vocalists ever, and I want the Bullwhip songlist to be populated with a lot of great women vocalists. Kathleen Hanna, Lydia Lunch, Exene Cervenka, and Poly Styrene are on a short list to top that category. They’ve all been inspiring me since I was barely out of my teens and fit well with ALL TIME COMICS.
The way Ian MacKaye sings about [Washington] DC almost makes it sound like a fictional place, a make believe fortress of solitude for a real Superman. The idea of a personal connection with a city is pretty strong in many fables. Superman has Metropolis, Flash has Central City I think, Shazam has Fawcett City, and Ian MacKaye has Washington DC.
The greatest song about retaliation ever. This song is a sneaky killer, it goes deep inside, accusing the listener who, deep down, knows what kind of human garbage they are. *coughtrump*
A repo man sounds like the name of some Superhero who never got his own comic book. He’s too real, and that’s a good description of the movie as well. The Repo Man soundtrack was the great gateway drug to greater punk literacy for so many kids who were 15 in 1985, like me. It was described once as being this song where you can hear the band, muscular and steam powering forward, but still racing to keep up with Iggy who is clearly off and running like a stray live wire. That’s a great song with incredible dynamics to trace with your ear.
This song so much weirder than it has any right to be. The leather (Pants? Jacket? Never specified…) described in the song is like a sexy, loved clothing item but more. It’s a magical element, like an enchanted amulet or magic sword for Joan Jett. Something that imbues her with superpower. I also love that Joan is attempting an early form of rap, which just makes the song a weirder mismatch of different approaches to pop, rock, rap, and really, it’s a Joan Jett song is its own genre. See that’s the weirdness of punk in the early days–no one was doing it as a genre yet, and a lot of bands are just weird and defy categorization.
I picked this song because it’s about a code of conduct, and every superhero has a code. In Rafferty’s case it’s about a code between two people. In Bullwhip’s case it’s a stripped-down code that keeps her realistic and grounded and committed to doing the right thing.
A cool song, full of menace and a concealed power that seeps then rises. The song is like a comic book where shit just blows up and then the story stops.
There’s something melodic and adventurous about this song. The hyped up action word “Run” makes me think of a bullwhip story as does the operative dated “fox” terminology for a sexy woman.
This song is about a horror movie that Debbie Harry appeared in in 1980. I like the way that Debbie Harry transformed herself into a cartoony sex symbol, despite the fact that she emerged from a world of horror herself. She was almost murdered by Ted Bundy, as immortalized in a Robert Williams painting. That’s dark! I’m glad Debbie Harry has lived a nice long life because she could’ve been snuffed out.
Not sure why I couldn’t find a GITS song with Mia Zapata singing, since I tried to pepper this list with powerhouse women performers, but my favorite GITS song is “A Change Is Gonna Come,” and that one’s too overwhelming and heartbreaking for this fast list. So this instrumental is what we get. Hopefully, you can sense her spirit around the edges.
Like “Fox on the Run” or “American NIGHTmare,” this song sounds like the title of a comic to me. Fear is one of the alltime great bands, no one else sounds like them. So punk, so entertaining, such a trainwreck of intentional dumbness mixed with cleverness and the greatest songwriting craft. The cool thing about FEAR is they made punk when there weren’t a lot of rules. Lee is often too good for a singer for a punk band, and they just sound like their own thing. Hard to believe punk in popular culture at one point devolved into shity ’90s SoCal pop punk bullshit, but that’s simply made the originality and brilliance of FEAR and other weird bands shine ever brighter
I’m gonna let this one rip, again a song about slowly releasing a vast wealth of power, like death rays from a doomsday weapon that is Lydia Lunch’s heart. Combines an incredibly sexy vibe with angry, death-trip themed lyrics.
Just heard this for the first time. Any time you have a present-day punk band putting on the uniform of the bands that preceded them, you’ve got a formula that hits close to the hearts of us here at ALL TIME COMICS, where we are trying to create a bridge between younger and older artists.
Which leads us to GERM FREE ADOLESCENCE, a paean to the cleansers and antiseptics that we use to erase our human stain. How great can you get? Equal parts punk, New Wave, reggae, and jazz, topped by a voice like something from an extraterrestrial swan would sing as a farewell to a lost race. From the sadness in her voice over this hopeless battle between filthiness and cleanliness, you can see how Poly Styrene struggled to keep her heart whole and unshattered even in these early days. Poly’s voice is like Bullwhip’s whip; it slashes through anything I can imagine putting in front of it.
Holy Fucking Shit I love Lemmy. I know 2016 was a horrible year for everyone, but no celebrity loss matches the death of Lemmy. However, the new beginning marked by ALL TIME COMICS is special and meaningful and the sort of oasis the world’s been waiting for in the endless desolate cavern of pain modern life has become. Also I have no idea what “Tie Your Mother Down” means, but it has the “I don’t care, take no prisoners” energy we want in Bullwhip.
It’s pretty easy to listen to this song and forget who Nugent became later, which is something I prefer to do. Good lyrics and he was a good screamer then.
Coolest song in the world by this Portland-based band. A raging, mid-tempo punk song with a weird lonely melody and an ethereal atmospheric feeling.
Amazing Punk song by URBAN ASSAULT. Fast and clanky, like a drawer of silverware being thrown down the stairs. It’s pure chaos, but the band has their foot on the accelerator the whole time; you can feel the intention and will behind the noise. It’s a visceral thrill to listen to.
Great cover. I’ve said it before: I love young punk bands covering stuff by people who came the wave before them.
Every pretenders song sounds like a great unwritten comic to me. Again, another ubiquitous Rock and Roll female vocalist heard from in Chrissie Hynde. The song has such a great beat, and I love the way her voice is synced with the music, especially the drums on this track. Amazing how she pulls off a mix of spoken word alternated with full-throated joyful singing.
Another retaliation song by the greatest female driven rock band ever. I love the Runaways; I usually like Joan’s singing over Cherie’s and this one’s no exception. Joan was kind of at her peak with the Runaways, singing alternately with authority and with the release of a wild animal.
It was hard to pick just one or two Link Wray songs here. He’s the coolest man who ever picked up a guitar, and I wish he were my father. LINK, I am your son, LINK..DADDY
Obviously this song is the best. Sometimes something is great, but you overlook it because it’s right in front of you, like sidewalks. Sidewalks are great, but you don’t really ever look at them. And this song is the foundation of The Warriors, which is obviously a great movie, but how often do you listen to the soundtrack? I am sorry I never checked this song out ‘til I made this mix and was looking for Joe Walsh’s “In the City.” Bad ass.
Yes, I can’t leave X RAY SPEX alone: holy shit, the howling release of this song. Poly Styrene absolutely kills me like she’s standing right there singing it. So immediate.
Another weird classic punk band that gets to the root of the matter. Lets rock.
Another sexy rhythmic punk blues sleaze masterpiece. Never stop, Danzig.
A side project by members of Melvins and Dinosaur and Jesus Lizard, which sounds like a more rocked-up Low. It’s the sound of empty space in between thoughts, which is where all the ideas for ALL TIME COMICS germinate. Check it out.
A side project where Joan Jett stepped in for the murdered singer of The Gits, Mia Zapata. It’s the real-world nightmares we all want to retreat from and fight voraciously, and that’s where the escapism of comics come in. The world is filled with worse things than a comic can ever approach depicting. The Gits and Joan Jett collaborated on this one album as a tribute to Mia’s memory. I’ve always liked it and Joan Jett is one of my great idols.
Apocalyptic last song, on the last studio album by Bikini Kill; still somehow a very positive song though. Another powerful, sad pretty number by one of the greatest rock bands that will ever exist in punk.
My favorite things in life are Blondie and L7. Feast your ears. Baybee. Amazing how fresh and new this song sounds in their hands.
Continuing with songs that hit the ground running and then keep on going forward. Love the way this song chugs right along, such an atmospheric classic rock sound.
OH SHIT time for another PLASMATICS. I don’t always know what they’re singing: they’re too advanced; they come from a Road Warrior vision of the future that America looks more like every day. Way ahead of their time, and their songs are, like, better than some of the best comic books about wrathful war goddesses. A thundering conflict looms in the horizon; what a comfort to only listen to the sound of WENDY O WILLIAMS protest over the relentless disaster instead of living through it. For now.
An almost obvious choice, this song should be as familiar as an old shoe and it belongs here on this list for sure; the best song of 1982 serving as a quasi final track for the soundtrack to the best unread comic form 1979, as we like to think of ALL TIME COMICS.
One more by X ray Spex for good measure. Never forget to listen to punk and read comics forever!
Iggy and Steve Jones played on this track, but the speed and propulsion is even more Iggy than Steve Jones. I originally wanted to pick just “Repo Man,” which is my all time favorite Iggy and Steve song, but I can’t find live footage of Steve and Iggy playing together so I picked the video for Cold Metal as well. The legendary Steve Jones graced the ALL TIME COMICS trailer with his participation and we couldn’t be more thrilled. No-one more than me. He is to punk what Joe Shuster was to comics!!! One of the grand architects.
I was all done with this list then I remembered the way this song played in the movie Kingpin when Woody Harrelson and Bill Murray get ready to have their big bowling tournament, and it reminded me of how it just makes you feel so ready for a big clash of opposing titans. It’s got the sense of excitement that I feel is in the pages of ALL TIME COMICS.
Everyone knows this song, and some people may know that Sam, Chief Pitboss here at ALL TIME COMICS, directed this as one of his first videos in 1992. It’s amazing when you go back and watch the video and listen to the lyrics, how effective it is. The song is full of quirky A.D.D centric lyrics and the video is full of spontaneous moments that still catch you by surprise, like the fan who jumps into the frame right before the cut at 2:42. This video has mattered to the whole world and no one more than us at ALL TIME COMICS. It generated a chain reaction without which I’m not even sure I’d be here writing this.
Are you psyched for Fantagraphics entry into the world of superhero comics? Be sure to tell us your thoughts down below in the comments.