Confession time, folks: When I first read Image Comics' sold-out "Adventures Into Mindless Self Indulgence" comic, my mind simply refused to believe that the electro-punk band's true-life touring stories presented within its pages really happened. They're just that crazy.
However, Mindless self Indulgence bandmates Jimmy Urine, Steve, Righ?, LynZ, and Kitty recently assured me that not only are the stories true — they're only the tip of the wild, bloody, and occasionally obscene iceberg when it comes to their exploits on the road. And the impressive sales of their debut comic, illustrated by talented "Chester 5000 XYV" artist Jess Fink, are just a reflection of fans' love for the mixture of music and chaos the band brings to every performance.
With "Adventures Into Mindless Self Indulgence" headed back for a second printing due to a sellout at the distribution level, I checked in with the band to get the lowdown on their wildly successful debut as comic book authors.
MTV NEWS: I’m almost afraid to ask, but how true-to-life are the stories in the comic? Did you find yourself over-exaggerating? Under-exaggerating? (From what I hear about MSI shows, I’m guessing it’s the latter…)
LYNZ: Now that I have my beautiful daughter, I'd like to say they were exaggerated. But they were not...
JIMMY URINE: Only two panels are actually untrue — and by "untrue," I mean we went left, not right, or it was day, not night. If you can find them, I will kiss your butt.
STEVE RIGH?: All of it is pretty damn true. We just changed the names slightly to protect the guilty.
KITTY: What's crazy is that reading through the comic just now, I'd actually forgotten some of these road stories & they made me laugh all over again! Of course, some were not as funny when they were happening, like the time I got kicked out of our own show. So not funny, Mr. Security Guy, so not funny...
MTV: Any stories that you planned to include in the comic, but didn’t make the cut for one reason or another?
LYNZ: None that I'd like to mention.
JIMMY: Every day was a story. This series could go on longer then "The Simpsons"...
STEVE: Most definitely there were more stories, but we wanted to put out a comic book, not a phone book.
KITTY: We have 10 years of stories. Some of them are too unbelievable to ever be published, and they will haunt me to my grave...
MTV: What was the comic creation experience like on your side? Did you write up actual scripts and send them in, offer up a general story and let the artist run with it, or was there an altogether different style of collaboration?
STEVE: We just put the pieces of the stories back together through the haze of monk juice and fireworks fumes, sent them off to Jess, and she brought them to life.
JIMMY: We had been telling these stories oral-history-style like cave men, so we wrote them down and let Jess do her thing. Then me and Jess just edited the little details at the end of the process. Jess has such good comedic timing in her art. It really did the stories justice.
KITTY: Jess really brought out the nuances of these stories and captured our individual personalities perfectly! Again, even though I was there for most of these hijinks in the first place, I still laughed out loud when I read Jess' rendition. It was funny all over again!
MTV: How did you get connected with Jess Fink? Was she on your radar before this project? She seems like a great match for these stories…
JIMMY: Jess approached us with some sketches and wanted to do something — a comic, t-shirt, poster, etc. We were down for the comic book idea, but we needed a story. We figured the truth is way better than fiction, and it was.
MTV: LynZ, since you're married to Gerard Way of "My Chemical Romance," who has his own successful comic in "The Umbrella Academy," I have to ask: did you get any tips from him about creating comics or the comics industry?
LYNZ: This was created before our marriage, actually.
MTV: Jhonen Vazquez directed the video for The Left-Rights (Jimmy Urine and Steve Righ?) “White.” What’s the back story on that collaboration? Any other comic creators you’d like to work with on MSI videos or future comics? What’s your dream comics/MSI team-up for MSI?
JIMMY: We love to work with fun, crazy artists. Not only are we fans of people we work with, but a lot of times they are fans of us, so it's a big f---ing dirty love fest. We met Jhonen Vasquez originally when we were touring our record "You'll Rebel to Anything." We approached him for a shirt or poster, and he was like, "I want to do a video for 'Shut Me Up." We were like, "Go to f---ing town!" And he did… he really, really did.
MTV: Are you regular comic book readers? Which comics are you reading these days?
LYNZ: I was never an avid comic reader. I do love all things Al Columbia, which is odd because he's sort of obscure, and he happens to be one of my husband's favorites. I tore out a piece of his comic and had it framed in my apartment for a decade. Gerard saw it and lost his mind. "How do you know about this comic?" "Why do you have this hung up in a frame?!" I just always loved it and it really spoke to me. I know very little about comics, but somehow I had found someone very important to him and hung it on my wall. Life is funny that way.
JIMMY: I am a super comic bag, backing board, original art, not enough room in my f---ing house for all my comic boxes, regular comic book reader. Right now, I am reading "Age of Bronze," "The Sword," "Cursed Pirate Girl," "Heartbreak," "Last Call," and "Mesmo Delivery."
KITTY: I'm an intermediate comic nerd, not quite Jimmy-level, but I read with some frequency. I'm not reading any right now, although I did really enjoy "Y: The Last Man," and I love "Acme Novelty Library" by Chris Ware. But, my all-time favorites have to be "American Flagg" by Howard Chaykin and "Love & Rockets" by Jaime Hernandez. I could read those over and over!
MTV: The first comic was a big success, so any plans for a sequel?
JIMMY: All I know is, we definitely got enough crazy f---ing stories for it.
MTV: Between all of your comics connections and video game references in the comic and music (the video for “Never Wanted To Dance,” for example), it feels like a safe bet that your tour bus is filled with some great geekery… Is that pretty accurate? What games are you playing these days?
LYNZ: Our tour bus was, and it was lost on me. I don't play video games much — they kind of bore me. The nerd gods are sending a lightning bolt my way as we speak. I'm running for cover...
JIMMY: As we speak right this second, I am playing a PSP hack of the "Misadventures of Tron Bonne"… and on tour it gets even more geeky.
STEVE: We usually all geek out together on a gaming console and then retire to our bunks with our own individual geekiness of choice. Lots of snoring and sound effects.
KITTY: Imagine if every system — Xbox, Playstation, Wii, PSP, DS, etc — were thrown on a pile & then you threw some laptops on top of that & then you poured Jack Daniels and Pixie Stix all over it. Abracadabra! You are now touring with Mindless Self Indulgence.
The second printing of "Adventures Into Mindless Self Indulgence" hits shelves January 5, 2011. Check out a few sample pages below, courtesy of Image Comics.