When I found out about the Marvel comics/hip-hop legendary album cover crossover concept, my mind almost exploded.
Holy smokes. I mean, I was raised on both.
Run DMC on Reading Rainbow was one of my first memories ever. Iron Man and Spider-Man were my first action figures. I had no idea what they were about.
But then I heard about the controversy (of course) with this cross culture of hip-hop and comics. Umm…I believe the word is “appropriation.”
I’m not even going to get into it. The artists and editors have their reasons, and so do the critics.
All I’m saying is…I’m a fan of these worlds colliding.
Why? Well, one of my new favorite nerd blogs, The Mary Sue, quoted Marvel editor Axel Alonso’s response to all of the criticism of hip-hop variants, which to me, sums up the whole mission of this whole thing other than appreciation and nostalgia…right?
The response of the hip-hop community to these variants has been tremendous. All the major hip-hop sites are shining a spotlight on this, and social media outside of comics has exploded with excitement — which means we are talking to a new audience. We’ve revealed less than a quarter of our variant covers at this point, and already the hip-hop community is showering us with love — including the hip-hop artists themselves.
I couldn’t have said it better myself though. The fact that people outside of the comic book world are now taking interest and excitement in comics? AND…and…there is a new audience being captivated!
Isn’t that what this is all about? Sharing what we love?
I love the passion and stories that both hip-hop and nerd culture tell. They reach the masses, yes. Each story and artist, though, are unique.
Both are cool. Both make me say “Yeeaaaaahhh!” out loud, and I bob my head slowly.
Now that these two worlds are coming together, it’s a true “cross coolture.”
You can catch some of the responses of the hip-hop community, the rest of Alonso’s and The Mary Sue’s insight into this whole venture here.
Comic Book Resources has a dope series of articles covering the subject matter even breaking down which albums have been given homage.
In addition to the De La Soul variant up top, this Ant-Man is cover another one of my favorites: