Musical fairy tale The First Violin opens Dead Beats 2: London Calling anthology

The First Violin
(Image credit: Morgan Beem/Pete Carlsson (A Wave Blue World))

The Kickstarter campaign for this fall's music anthology Dead Beats 2: London Calling is underway, and as the crowdfunding campaign hits it halfway point the co-publisher Tyler Chin-Tanner has shared six pages from his eight-page story 'The First Violin' with artist Morgan Beem and letterer Pete Carlsson.

Take a look:

"In the first volume of Dead Beats, I wrote a historical story about a blues singer in the south so I thought it might be nice to do another period piece," Chin-Tanner tells Newsarama. "And with a subtitle like 'London Calling,' why not go with a medieval fairy tale about the invention of the violin (fictional, of course)."

The true 'first violin' is thought to have been created in Italy during the early 1500s, but the stringed instrument owes itself tremendously to older musical instruments such as the rebab and the lyre.

But for this 'The First Violin' story, Chin-Tanner and Beem imagine a fictional kingdom of Nivoli from centuries ago and how the violin was created by magic in order to win a lover's hand in marriage. 

"Morgan Beem did an amazing on the art," Chin-Tanner says. "Her sense of storytelling and her beautifully finished watercolor artwork were a perfect fit. And Pete Carlsson’s lettering brought it all home."

(Image credit: Lisa Sterle/Stelladia (A Wave Blue World))

'The First Violin' is one of 21 comic stories organized by Dead Beats editors/creators Joe Carallo and Eric Palicki in their continued goal of creating an anthology series mixing music with Tales from the Crypt-esque storytelling. Following up from 1999's original Dead Beats anthology, London Calling follows the enigmatic Shoppe Keeper as she opens up a new location of her record shop in London,  directly on the iconic Abbey Road (of Beatles fame). And once again, she's in the market for haunted musical artifacts - and that's where 'The First Violin' comes in.

A Wave Blue World is currently raising capital for Dead Beats 2: London Calling on Kickstarter with a $25,000 goal; the first volume raised over $33,000 on the crowdfunding platform back in 2019. This go-around, interested readers can order a digital edition of Dead Beats 2: London Calling for $10; for $25, a print copy will be included, with a variant cover by Erica Sterle that's exclusive to Kickstarter supporters. Both also come with a 'thank you' credit in the anthology.

Dead Beats 2: London Calling is anticipated to go on sale this September and the crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter runs through July 1.

Dead Beats 2: London Calling will be available in print as well as digitally. For the best digital comics experience, check out our list of the best digital comics readers for Android and iOS devices. 

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)