The Soundtrack for Hell’s Bells

I’ve been having a blast here at Emerald City Comic Con, meeting people and thinking more and more about my work. I went to a couple of panels on writing process and most were more inspiring than informative. I feel like my process works pretty well, but we always get better by learning from our peers, so it’s been valuable. Listening to Fraction and Rucka debate the value of notecards and hearing Kelly Sue Talk about her nova mind maps or whatever was trippy and made me mostly want ot go back to the hotel room and write. Which is the point, I suppose.


All those writers made me think about my process, in particular on Hell’s Bells. I’m super not happy with that title, but it’s the one that fits. It’s because I had the entire idea while listening to AC/DC on the bus, swear to God. At least, I had the initial idea there. It was just a visual image, like the opening credits of a film, of light breaking on the smooth metallic curves of the ’68 Camaro Super Sport. And the image stuck in my head, and my head kept buggin’ me, going … “Hey, what if the Camaro had a trunk full of guns?!?!?? … What if two bad-asses who didn’t know each other were riding around in it whacking guys??!?!?!? “ It took a little while longer to realize the car itself was a character, and that’s when the tumblers first fell into place on Hell’s Bells. But the entire time I’ve been writing it, I’ve had a new element in my process that was never there before.




I’ve never been one to listen to music while I work, be it writing or anything else. I can’t stare at the screen and concentrate on what I’m doing most times if I’m also rockin’ out to whatever’s in my headphones. Granted, I wear my headphones when I’m at “the office” working, but they usually function as exotic earplugs more than delivery vehicles for music. I’m just blocking everyone else out, mostly, and romping around in my own imagination.


But Hell’s Bells has been different. There are certain parts of the story that seem to have a soundtrack, and all I have to do is listen to some of those songs, and I’m all jazzed to write more and more pages of Charles Adam Other and “Billy White” Perle’s story.  Billy has his own song, and so does Reelz J, and there are some songs that are scenes in the story and some that are just mood. I know play lists are trite, but I grew up in the ‘80s, and always wanna make everyone I like a mix tape. So here’s the list of what I’m rockin’ while I’m writin’ this one. Enjoy it.


Hells Bells – AC/DC

Seven Nation Army(cover) – Hard Fi

Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground – The White Stripes

If You Talk Too Much (My Head Will Explode) – People in Planes.  This is Billy White’s song. I’m not really sure why, but I was listening to it when he started to really walk and talk in my head, and it makes me want to write more and more of him every time I play it.

Cells – The Servant (this song is now the theme for everything with guns in it, since Sin City. Or at least it should be) I have the original and the intrumentatl track.

Upper Echelon – Travi$ Scott feat. T.I. and 2 Chainz – This one is all Reelz J and his crew. Trust me, when you get there, his crew is fucking scary, and not nearly as high as the dudes rappin this song.

Nightmares – Band of Skulls – If there were closing credits in comics, this would be it. Or it’s the scene where Charlie and Michael meet. Or maybe both.


So who else listens to thematic music when you write or draw? Do all your works have soundtracks? Hit me up at the contact page, or a, and we’ll rock out.

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