Questions for Johnny Ryan about DMC, by way of interviewing DMC creator Kiminori Wakasugi.
DMC 6 (Sept 2010)
DMC is the story of Soichi Negishi: aspiring indy rock star by day, accidental front-man of world-renowned black metal band Detroit Metal City as Lord Johannes Krauser II by night. Think Scott Pilgrim vs. Canada The World, but with more rape, and less rollerskating.
I interviewed the creator of DMC, Kiminori Wakasugi, some scantÂ months ago. Wakasugi’s responses ranged from mono- to bi- syllabic and taught nothing a glue-sniffer wouldn’t have figured out with pot of honey tucked away. For example, that DMC was visually inspired by KISS, that Wakasugi listens to all kinds of music, and that the recurrence of the word “rape” was problematic in Japan as it would have been in the U.S. if it sold in comparable quantities (e.g. more).
Wakasugi did, however, divulge one big spoiler worth its weight in virgins. And having just finished the entire original DMC series myself, I can say there’s more than meets the eye in this spoiler. You’ll thank me later for publishing said spoiler with no alerts:Â Negishi is never getting laid.
So, I needed more material if I was ever going to publish something on DMC. After weeks of feeling dejected about the curt interview, about failing to break through the professional wall and become a buddy, I put down the boxed wine, paused my Tori Amos CD, wrapped a metal-plated sash around my forehead, channeled my nine-tail demon fox and started working on this interview again.
One day my nine-tailed demon fox (friend and collaborator Ryan Sands) told me his nine-donged spirit animal (friend and collaborator Johnny Ryan) was a die-hard fan of Detroit Metal City. A few e-mails later, weâd had this conversation.
ANNE ISHII: This is less of an interview than questionnaire for you, since ultimately weâre talking about work that neither of us authored. Wellâ¦ not really, at least. I like to think I authored DMC in my fantasy world, which is populated by roofied pool boys prancing on an iPad-lined dance floor set to âvideo.â But in my fantasy world, I also came up with the portmanteau âklangina.â The reality is that you coined âklanginaâ and DMC was created by Kiminori Wakasugi.Â Johnny Ryan is easier to pronounce. So let me ask you, Johnny Ryanâ¦
Howâd you find DMC and what got you hooked?
JOHNNY RYAN: I think I just saw it in the comic store one day. I picked it up and opened up to the page where Krauser is singing âRAPERAPERAPERAPERAPERAPERAPE!â and I knew I had to buy it.
AI: What do you think is more offensive: Krauserâs casual threats to ârape filthy sows,â or the thought of the lead singer of a popular metal band being a virgin?
JR: I feel like Iâm one of the regular members of the DMC audience, in that no matter what pathetic thing Krauser does it must have some super-malevolent purpose. So, that said, the reason heâs a virgin is because heâs far too evil to engage in sex with a human woman.
AI: If a human woman isnât worthy of popping Krauser’s cherry, who is?
JR: Jesus Christ.
AI: OK, seriously though, would you rather be gang-raped by DMC or members of Angry Youth?
JR: Probably Angry Youth. Since I created those characters, being gang-raped by them would be like masturbating.
AI: Do you ever masturbate to the characters of Angry Youth?
JR: All day long.
AI: Obligatory news-related question: Scott Pilgrim (the character) versus Soichi Negishi. What do you think that would look like? Remember, Pilgrimâs Canadian.
JR: I was about to say Pilgrim would pummel Negishi, but then you reminded me that heâs Canadian, so my money is on Negishi.
AI: Krauser wrestling in Prison Pit. What do you think that would look like?
AI: Are you, or have you ever been, a fan of metal yourself? Nelson doesnât count.
JR: I recently began listening to some black metal.
AI: What kind of black metal are you listening to?
JR: Bathory, Darkthrone, Gorgoroth, all the usual suspects.
AI: Which one of the opposing metal bands in DMC did you think stood the greatest chance of beating Krauser at The Satanic Emperor Festival and why?
JR: Helvete seemed to have DMC on the ropes, but I preferred Deathismâs Scat Metal act better. And it was cool when Krauser made the lead singer of Deathism eat his own Metal Fart.
AI: Wakasugi said in our brief interview that DMCâs manager (âBossâ) is not based on anyone in particular. That his editor just made him come up with a gross woman so it wasnât all eccentric dudes. Does Fantagraphics make you create nasty female characters with perpetual chowder-vagina? You knowâ¦ so that your comics donât come across as sexist?
JR: Thatâs funny. I think she may be my favorite character in the book. Fantagraphics never makes me do anything. They pretty much leave me alone to do whatever I want.
AI: I think the reason my interview with Wakasugi went so badly is because my Japanese was shitty. Do you speak Japanese? Maybe I should see what happens when I interview you in shitty English.
You are so much the gross funny drawings. Who personal basis isnât it? You are gaining popular when many beautiful lady-boy have bloody flower on replaces penis. You say pee-nis or peh-nis?
AI: [Offline, referring to how glad I am I got to interview Johnny]: This is awesome stuff. Like the best clam chowder in the deepest part of New England.
JR: I am from New England so I have the smell of clam chowder burned into my nose hairs.
all images Â©Kiminori Wakasugi