9:00am PT by Graeme McMillan
'Apocrypha' Graphic Novel Brings Cult Japanese Metal Band Babymetal to Comics (Exclusive)
After rocking the world for the last eight years, it will finally be time for the story behind Babymetal to be told — or perhaps that should be the Legend…?
The successful Japanese dance metal band, which formed in 2010 and consists of three pseudonymous members — Su-Metal, Yuimetal and Moametal — has built an international fanbase via two albums, Babymetal and Metal Resistance, and consistent touring and live performances, supporting the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica and Guns N’ Roses. (The band is once again touring the U.S. and Europe in May and June.) Throughout the last eight years, the band has built up a mythology in which its producer, Kobametal, communicates directly with a Fox God who personally selected the group’s lineup and created the band’s musical style, described appropriately as “kawaii metal.”
This October, that mythology will be expanded — and, perhaps, explained — in Apocrypha: The Legend of Babymetal, a graphic novel collaboration between Kobametal, Amuse Group USA, and Z2 Comics. (Amuse Group USA is a subsidiary of the band’s talent agency, Amuse Inc.; the company has also partnered with Warner Bros. to develop a cartoon based on the band.) Apocrypha will be illustrated by Super Pulp Science Magazine artist GMB Chomichuk.
The graphic novel continues Z2 Comics’ line of books created in collaboration with musicians, which has so far featured work by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, bluesman Robert Finley and DJ Paul Oakenfold. Co-publisher Sridhar Reddy is coy when it comes to what Apocrypha will reveal about the band, saying in a statement, “With the book still months from publication, it’s too early to reveal much. In the months to come, Babymetal fans can expect more announcements, but today I would say the question we should be asking is not who is Babymetal, but what is Babymetal?”
Apocrypha: The Legend of Babymetal will be available for pre-order ahead of its October release at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and Kinokuniya USA, with Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Kinokuniya USA and Japanese online market Asmart each offering a limited-edition version of the book with a special cover. More information about the book — including its official release date — will be released in coming months.