By Jeffrey L. Wilson

Darryl McDaniels is best known as the Herculean rhyme-smith who took hip hop to mainstream success as a member of RUN-DMC, but the brash emcee who proclaimed himself the “King of Rock” aims to claim another title: comic book publisher.

The man known as DMC oversees his own independent comic book publishing house—the appropriately named Darryl Making Comics—which will drop its first graphic novel, DMC, this fall. The comic, set to debut at New York Comic Con, transforms the iconic musician into an English teacher with super powers who battles evil. But don’t expect DMC to showcase a rapping super hero; McDaniels is determined to create a book that’s true to the comics and hip hop.

We spoke with McDaniels a bit earlier this year about hip hop, his comic book love, and why he decided to help fund Darryl Making Comics on Kickstarter. The project didn’t make its Kickstarter goal, but McDaniels still plans to debut his book this weekend at New York Comic Con.

PCMag: How far along is the DMC graphic novel in the production process?
Darryl McDaniels (DMC): We only have character models so far, so we just have to get it written. There will be only 500 pieces [issues] available at New York Comic Con, but we’re planning a series after that.

PCMag: What can comic fans expect from DMC?
DMC: It’s not DMC the rapping super hero. That would be corny. No one wants to see a rapping super hero.

PCMag: Like that MC Hammer cartoon back in day.
DMC: Right! First and foremost, it’s a comic book. The culture and vibe will be hip hop because it will be my life! Captain America fought Nazis because it was relevant to the time. It’s the same thing here. Imagine if DMC, Darryl McDaniels in an alternate universe, wasn’t a rapper but a superhero?

PCMag: Tell me a bit about that.
DMC: DMC is a demi-god. DMC is cross between the Hulk and Thor. When you look at me as DMC, I was always into education. I was always the mild-mannered, educated school kid who hid behind the glasses. When I said I ‘bust through ceilings and knock down doors’ in the “King of Rock,” I wasn’t talking about violence. I was inspired by the Hulk.

At age 35 I found out that I was adopted. So I had a mysterious side that I didn’t know about. My mom and dad weren’t my parents. It’s like I came here on a meteor! People will see the character grow in a similar fashion when he discovers he’s a superhero.

PCMag: What’s your comic book pedigree? Some people will question whether DMC is a real comics head.
DMC: I was a huge comic book head! I loved Spider-Man, The Hulk, and Deathlok. My roots are in comics. I used to draw a lot when I was in school. When RUN-DMC took off, my drawing took a backseat to rock on the mic. If you listen to the “King of Rock,” you hear me say ‘I’m DMC, I can draw.’ When I got into my second semester at St John’s, I took business management. I thought about changing my major to anything involving drawing. In August ’82, RUN called me to make a record that pulled me into rap. When hip hop came over the bridge [to Queens] we sold our collections to buy turntables and mixers.

PCMag: What other rappers are comic book fans?
DMC: There are a lot, but Pete Rock comes to mind. Pete Rock is a huge comics head!

PCMag: Which comics are you reading right now?
DMC: I left comics with Deathlok. I’m big on The Walking Dead. Right now I’m delving back into Deathlok to the point where I want to play Deathlok in the movie!

PCMag: Tell me a bit about the DMC creative team.
DMC: My people are passionate comic book heads, probably worse than me! I’m using writers and artists who’ve worked at Marvel and DC. Damien [Scott] did Spider-Man and Batman. They’re binational, from NYC to Japan. What I mean by that is that we have people from around the globe who love comics and hip hop. Sal Buscema is doing the cover to my first graphic novel.

RUN-DMC kicked open the door and let everyone in. We could’ve done like many cliques out today and keep it closed. We wanted Russ [Russell Simmons] to sign L.L., Public Enemy, and the Beasties. It’s not just about me and my team. I want everyone with talent to come in. There’s so much young talent, so many great artists and writers. It’s like rap. There’s a guy [on production] who will put a foot in [Dr.] Dre’s ass, there’s a writer will make Eminem cry. But corporations always want to put in their two cents.

PCMag: What’s your day-to-day role as the publisher of Darryl Making Comics?
DMC: I will be the Stan Lee guy. When we first started planning I had so many ideas that people said I was like Stan Lee. I’m just turning on whatever I turned off when I made “Sucker MCs.” I’ll be in charge of the universe. My main goal is to make it authentic and respectful to both cultures.

PCMag: Why go the Kickstarter route?
DMC: I did the Kickstarter to have creative and artistic complete control. We want this creation to be a legitimate complement to comic book culture. We want it to be officially respected by comic book culture. We didn’t want to go to a big corporation who wants to insert a Britney Spears-like character because they think that will make it sell.

Article Source: