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Origin of Detroit! Murder City Comix

I was drawing Detroit-themed comics after moving to San Francisco in the late 80s. I thought it would be something unique on the west coast plus autobiography was the trend in undergrounds and mine was from Detroit.

Rick Metcalf and I had worked together on a comic in Detroit for Fun magazine. I did the art and Rick wrote. We continued the collaboration remotely and he wrote a great story "Gunned Down in Motown" which won the best new comic in the San Francisco Bay Guardian (newspaper).

I had just about enough material for a complete issue so we set up an art show and launch party at Dave Roberts' Willis Gallery in the Cass Corridor. We got a bunch of Detroit and San Francisco artists contributing original work with the Detroit 'Murder City' theme. From the SF underground we had S. Clay Wilson, Spain & Trina from Zap, Mavrides from the Freak Brothers, Bill Griffith from Zippy the Pinhead and from Detroit we had Niagara, Glenn Barr, Mark Dancey and so many more. It was a great event. Detroit! Murder City Comix launched with the Willis art show in Detroit in 1990 and was a riff on R. Crumb's 'Motor City Comics' with the new murder capital fame.

Rick and I self-published the first 3 issues before being picked-up by the bay area publisher "Slave Labor Graphics" for issues 4-7 which ran through 1995. Based in Detroit, Rick was a great promoter and writer connecting with local celebrities, getting D!MCC on the TV news, a cover story in the local paper, and highlighting the Detroit music scene with stories featuring Iggy Pop, Niagara, Mitch Ryder and more. On the home front D!MCC was controversial and condemned by the mayor's office (Coleman A. Young) which added fuel to our fire.

Outside of the 7-issue comic book, D!MCC has also appeared as a feature in many other publications including Film Threat, Gearhead, Filth, Black Market and so many more. I do both the art & writing for some of the smaller features, and D!MCC lives on with an occasional new story like one coming later this year in Specious Species #7, a San Francisco interview and culture zine.

kent myers
February, 2014

2017 update - The long-awaited issue #8 "Best of Detroit! Murder City Comix" is now out and available for purchase!