Anthrax: Among the Living and the Not Man get a "nuclear makeover" in new comics anthology

Anthrax: Among the Living
(Image credit: J.G. Jones (Z2 Comics))

Anthrax's 1987 album 'Among the Living' is a touchstone for metal fans, and now 34 years later (and 40 years since the band's formation) it is being celebrated in a comic book anthology narrated by - who else? - their mascot, the Not Man.

The latest in Z2 Comics' growing line of music-based graphic novels, the OGN Anthrax: Among the Living pairs the band's core members - Scott Ian, Charlie Benante, Joe Belladonna, and Frank Bello - with a host of writers and artists to tell new stories capturing the aura of the classic album. 

And who better to write the Not Man's narration of Anthrax: Among the Living than Ian and Benante's fellow New Yorker, comics writer Jimmy Palmiotti?

"My connection to them is deeper than most might think and probably more than I know because we are the same age and ran around the same circles," Palmiotti tells Newarama. "Sadly, I don't know the guys personally, I just know them through the music and what I have read about them over the years. Listening to all kinds of music is a love of mine and metal is a big part of that…and you cannot get more metal than Anthrax!"

Palmiotti's Not Man pages frame the characer as a Crypt-keeper-style host for Anthrax: Beyond the Living, opening the book and also segueing between some of the stories. To draw such an integral part of the book, Palmiotti turned to comic artist/metal musician Nelson De Castro - who like Palmiotti and Anthrax, hails from Queens.

"Nelson is a heavy metal monster in every way – not only an amazing comic book illustrator but he has a metal album on the way titled Megadroid!" Palmiotti explains.

"The guy is a beast that has a life-size Pumpkinhead statue in his living room and a wall of guitars for God's sake! I knew instantly he was the only one that could do it justice. Everything about the set-up is insanely New York and again, with a guy drawing it that lives it, well, the passion is there on every page."

Speaking of Passion, Anthrax's mascot the Not Man is undergoing what Palmiotti calls a "nuclear makeover" for the Among the Living OGN, as redesigned by The Walking Dead's Greg Nicotero.

Palmiotti, de Castro, and Nicotero are joined by an all-star line-up of writers and artists for Anthrax: Among the Living, with Anthrax's own Scott Ian and Frank Bello both writing stories. Here's the list of contributors:

(Image credit: J.G. Jones (Z2 Comics))
  • 'Among the Living' by writer Brian Posehn with artists Scott Koblish and Alladin Collar
  • 'Caught in a Mosh' by writers Gerard and Mikey Way with artists Darick Robertson, Phillip Sevy, and Alladin Collar
  • 'I Am the Law' (featuring Judge Dredd) by writer Scott Ian with artists Chris Weston and Alladin Collar
  • 'Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)' by writers Rick Remender and Joe Trohman with artists Roland Boschi and Dan Brown
  • 'A Skeleton in the Closet' by writer Corey Taylor with artist Maan House
  • 'Indians' by writer Grant Morrison with artists Freddie Williams II and Andrew Dalhouse
  • 'One World' by writer Frank Bello with artists Andy Belanger and Tatto Caballero
  • 'A.D.I./Horror of it All' by writer Brian Azzarello with artist Dave Johnson
  • 'Imitation of Life' by writer Rob Zombie with artists Erik Rodriguez and Steve Chanks

"I am having a blast working on this and the setup that dictates the chapters of the book is a totally cool throwback that fans and new fans alike will love and give each chapter's talent room to rise to the occasion," Palmiotti says. "It's a total gift getting to be a part of Anthrax's history in my own little way and just wait till everyone sees this book. The art alone is worth triple the price."  

Anthrax: Among the Living goes on sale July 6.

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Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)