One of the great things about this new super-ambitious Kickstarter is the number of new fans Nix is picking up. Whether I reach my goal or not, I feel like I've been put in touch with a lot of cool people!
That being the case, though, it might be time to reintroduce myself and Nix Comics to the world. My name is Ken Eppstein and I'm both a comic book and Rock-n-Roll record lover. (The first record and comic book I can remember buying with my own money was a single package! I bought one of those power records at a Modell's department store on Long Island; a comic reprint of the origin of the Fantastic Four with a narrative 45rpm record that made a shrill "ding" noise when it was time to turn the page. It cemented the connection in my pre-teen mind.)
Beginning in the late 90s, I decided it was my personal mission in life to bring my beloved art forms to the masses despite a seeming downward turn in the popularity of both mediums. Defiantly, I opened a series of brick and mortar stores that sold both records and comics. Predictably, they proved to be difficult businesses to maintain. (My hat is off to those of you who pull it off!)
(Awesome Evil Empire Records promo art by Donovan Taylor Roth)
I shifted to a more successful business model where I sold records on-line and provided some great local shops with records on consignment. I did well selling my wares this way and I didn't miss the dismal lonely days that retailers sometimes have to endure, but it lacked the thrill that I got on the good retail days. The ones where you turn a young kid onto the Cramps or the Fleshtones. Or where a customer shows you something you didn't know about Steranko's style and influences. In short, there came a time when I realized that my personal mission had been replaced by an expedient business practice.
To get back on track, I decided to dust off an old dream and make my own comic books. Why be satisfied selling other folks junk when I could make my own! So I sold off over a 1000 records at cost on ebay and used the money to pay the artists and printer for Nix Comics Quarterly #1.
The sacrifice of all that great wax wasn't going to be in vain, either. While Nix Comics stories stand alone as modern fables and allegories, there's a subtext for the people who want it. A tempo and trashy style that can only be found in the great rock records that I love. Teasing to Tongue in Cheek references to my musical non-heroes who showed me the way from insecurity to who-gives-a-damn.
(Crappy painting by me)
And hey... here's a lesson for everybody. Old dreams are sometimes the best ones. Despite my love of both music and comics, what I wanted to be growing up was a comic creator. Somewhere in college I lost track of that... A confidence thing. I didn't think I stacked up to the guys whose books I was reading. I gave up. (The irony of the fact that I was listening to music by the Ramones, Clash, Replacements and myriad other artists whose careers were essentially based on "fuck being talented. I just wanna be good." is not lost on me.)
For easy access to the music that inspires Nix Comics, please subscribe to my spotify playlist: (for the more mainstream stuff)
Or visit garagepunk.com for its great series of podcasts: