PREVIEW + INTERVIEW: Jimmy Eat World’s Jim Adkins on 555 graphic novel, coming early June!

555 graphic novel cover

Jim Adkins, frontman of Jimmy Eat World, is an absolute comics fan. When he is known about the public at The Beat, his reply was: “My people! ” And in early June, Adkins appreciates his first comic, the graphic romance 555 — co-written with Random Shock Studios’s Alex Paknadel, reaped by Koren Shadmi, and designed by Tyler Boss–release from Z2 Comics.

The 555 graphic story, a direct-to-consumer exclusive, follows in the fascinating institution of comics spearheaded by musicians( a movement well-supported by Z2’s renders ). Inspired by Jimmy Eat World’s sci-fi music video for their song “5 55, ” the book tells the story of Klaarg, the overseer of a factory at the edge of known space that produces cloned slave labor. When the factory is slated for closure, Klaarg finds that he too is in the expendable category.

In this interview with The Beat, Adkins shared the story behind the “5 55 ” music video( indicate: it involves Rick Springfield ), hopes on the collaborative bible creation process, and some of his favorite comics growing up. Check that out, together with a preview of the forthcoming book, below.

[ This interview was revised for section and purity .]

Kerry Vineberg: Tell me about the original insight for the “555” music video.

Jim Adkins: The song itself is about acceptance, and how that’s really the key to getting past whatever world you’re in. Because until you reach that quality, you’re moving forward in rejection of something, and that’s going to come back to bite you in the ass. So it’s not easy to do, because it often involves facing an uncomfortable truth about your current condition.

That being said, I am a huge fan of early 80 ’s birth-of-MTV-era music videos, because that’s scorched in my mind from being a very young kid. And they’re always, like, the more extreme things. Dudes with swords, and explosions.

Vineberg: Wacky!

Adkins: A mint of moronic! A pile of stuff that was like, maybe some director was super coked-out and visualized this was gonna be the symbolic thing to reach millions of people and they would just transcend all that.

One of my favorite videos was Rick Springfield’s” Bop’ til You Drop .” For your books who might not be instantly familiar, there’s this reptilian society that has enslaved these work/ peasant parties. And there’s this overseer guy in a chair who’s hovering above the workspace here, where his minions are doing his bidding.

They’re busy, but I can’t tell what the hell they’re doing. And there’s a theatre. The video starts off with the lizard person mostly establishing the literal axe to a performer who exactly sucks. And then Rick Springfield “re coming in”. And his song is really catchy and it induces insurrection! And the workers rise up and take over from the reptilian overlords.

And for some crazy reason, I thought about the song “5 55. ” And how from the overlord guy’s perspective, it was a pretty bad day!( Or the executioner in Blazing Saddles. You should have no sympathy for him, but he’s just so overworked .) So that got me thinking about the character of Klaarg, who I play in the “5 55 ” music video.

I started reviewing, okay, so Klaarg is obviously overseeing these minion people who are doing his bidding. And I started building up a backstory in my head for it, and doing as in-depth of a depression committee as I could, to start to tell shot by shot how it was going.

Vineberg: It’d be great to hear about that process. What estimations went through your head?

Adkins: Yeah, so my own experience in video and cinema is truly restriction. I tried to idiot-proof it as much as I could, like, here’s the relevant recommendations. And initially, I was pitching this to simply have funds to oblige the thing. We weren’t even thinking about a comic afterwards.

Basically, I are broken down what I anticipated the arc could be of Klaarg. He’s having a really bad daylight. He’s just bummed out about his statu. He thinks he should be much higher up, he should be recognized by his overseers for the number of jobs he’s doing on this planet.

But in turn, he’s really mean to his subordinates, his minions. He’s terribly remorseles to them. So there’s no reason we should feel empathy for this guy, who is overworked and underappreciated, but is a horrifying person. I precisely thought that was an interesting place to go.

555 book preview 1 The Beat

Vineberg: It’s a cool change. Did you feel like the sci-fi aspect increased the song’s message in certain ways?

Adkins: Well, that song is an outlier on the book Surviving. Because the rest of the record is pretty guitar-based rock. And that song is like … not. So it’s okay if the video itself is a little bit baffling for people.

There’s really no bigger secure than,” Are you kidding me? Is this real? Like, what ?” Any time you can have what you want to convey, wrapped in something where people have to really do a nerve check if what they’re find is serious or a joke, then you’re on the right path.

To make it work though, it had to be totally serious. You can just do goofy, but you’re making a Super Bowl commercial then. If it’s “WTF” and it’s goofy- that’s not what we were trying to do. It’s route more effective if you bend into reaching it serious. So we had to think about, how do you flesh out the backstory of these people? What’s the motivation here? What’s the agreement?

555 book preview 2 The Beat

Vineberg: I’d love to hear more of the backstory.

Adkins: Yeah, so Klaarg is part of … I don’t want to say a Borg-like organization. But they’re definitely more evil than the Galactic Empire. Kind of an Empire vibe, that’s the closest analogy I can think of.

The other reputations in the fib, the Kudj Kram[ laughs ], are his minion parties.( In the comic nature, there’s probably no end to the ridiculous names. And that was kind of the point too. They have to be ridiculous reputation !) They’re national societies with extremely powerful psychic and telekinetic cleverness. But they’re likewise uber-pacifists.

So when Klaarg’s arrangement came in, they suppressed them readily, because they didn’t use their supremacies to destroy anything. But the organization realized that the Kudj Kram would be great indentured working people because of their abilities.

But they couldn’t have the Kudj Kram ever changing to be wise and actually rise up against the organization, because they would win. So they got rid of everybody except for like, one person who was not the smartest, and wasn’t the best in cleverness. And they cloned him to conclude that everybody. So that’s who Klaarg has working for him, harvesting ability from some planet that he’s overseeing.

555 book preview 3 The Beat

Vineberg: Wow! There’s a lot of storytelling and evocativeness in your chorus in general. How was the creative process for the 555 work similar to and different from that?

Adkins: So I know even less about the construction of comics than I do video. I had a long talk with the writer, Alex[ Paknadel ], and delivered him up to fasted with everything I knew about the characters, and what a possible arc could be for Klaarg’s character.

And then I just got out of the acces and make him flowed. What he came up with isn’t exactly what my backstory was. But he takes it further to a residence that I would have never thought of, which is rad.

Vineberg: How was it working with Random Shock and Koren? Did you work directly with Koren very?

Adkins: They’re astonishing. I just got out of the way, lover. From Koren’s previous run, I knew he was exactly the person to illustrate this. Plus, I was curious to see what he would do. I didn’t want to go into his behavior at all. So I had an intensive back and forth about the narrative, but then I just let it happen.

He was basically like,” Here’s what I’m thinking .” I said,” Yep. That’s right on, follower .” It was precisely what I pictured for it. Truly, there’s no one else that could reap this thing!

555 book preview 4 The Beat

Vineberg: Any favorite moments in working on it or insights you learned about comics from doing this?

Adkins: I still kind of don’t understand it![ laughs] I think if it’s anything like the music world, there’s generally a road that it could happen. But when it gets down to it, there’s no rules. Like, if you’re writing and someone else is illustrating, how much attitude visually are you giving them, and what actual talk breakout are you giving them?

The one thing I wish I could have been more involved with was the interaction between those two. What precisely is given to you when you’re sucking something that you’re not writing?

Vineberg: Did you have strong visual theories based on the music video?

Adkins: No, that was really simply the jumping-off place. They could take it wherever they demanded. And they prepared Klaarg rent! Klaarg is all buff and stuff. The total comic guy chin. Kind of a Tick vibe.

Vineberg: Nice! Did any of the general membership of Jimmy Eat World weigh in on the story at all?

Adkins: No, they were just like,” All right, whatever, man.”[ roars] “Okay, Jim, that’s really nice !”

Vineberg: And did the pandemic affect nothing about the book?

Adkins: Yeah, originally, we were shooting to have it done a lot earlier. It was going to coincide with a safarus that we were supposed to do last year. And formerly everything shut down and the immediate need for having it prepared for tour went away, the tempo of working on it kind of seemed less important than all the insane real world things that were going on around us.

But we established it happen! Came together ultimately!

Vineberg: Yeah! How do you feel about the final product?

Adkins: I couldn’t be more fortunate. It’s so wildernes, somebody! Comics were important to me growing up and to have something that I was involved with actually exist is just awesome. It’s super cool.

555 book preview 5 The Beat

Vineberg: That’s so exciting. What are just a few of the comics you liked growing up?

Adkins: Oh, soldier. I had Punisher War Journal. Punisher and X-Men. What are some other wacky ones? The Tick. There was a series announced Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children, which I had a bunch of. Preacher, a little bit. There’s a deed called Nth Man that I followed for a little bit. That didn’t catch on though.

Vineberg: So you mustered comics and then altered into music?

Adkins: I was always into music. It only turned out that I wanted to buy music gear more than I had money for comics.

Vineberg: Are there any other anthems or the main theme of yours you’d experience doing into comics?

Adkins: I don’t know. Part of the course I write psalms is, I ask myself a lot of questions about what’s happening. If I don’t instantly have poetic meanings, I will kind of world-build around what could be happening and flesh out the scene. Generally from that, I’m able to find more details that I think are interesting to actually will be incorporated into the song.

So we’ll watch. Off the top of my thought, I can’t think of much that already exists. Maybe. It would be more drama-based, rather than just the steal of a sci-fi element, I speculate … which I know is out there now. There wasn’t so much of that when I was compiling, narrations that are more like true-blue short fiction. It was all about a beings arc that would last-place for like eight or ten issues.

Vineberg: That’s true. Have you tried your hand at writing other myth legends before?

Adkins: I have and it’s really, really hard. You’d think it wouldn’t be dissimilar from what I do with songs, but it’s super hard. I have crazy respect for people whose chosen torture is to write fiction.

Vineberg: Anything you’d want to tell your existing devotees about the book? Or brand-new ones who find you through the comic?

Adkins: Oh, it’d be super wild if beings found out about our music from the comic. I would say, welcome! We’re hopefully going to be on tour next year, come hang out with us!

Pre-order 555 now, out in early June!

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