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Ascent of the Nerds: Music That Mattered at San Diego Comic Con 2013

Metallica Comic Con 2013

As usual, the big news out of this year’s Comic Con was made by major Hollywood studios and old guard TV networks shamelessly pandering for those coveted geek dollars. But just beneath the cacophony of endless movie announcements (“OMG, Marvel is making a Doctor Who/Thor mashup called Doctor Whor!”) was a little something for those who prefer entertainment piped through their ears. Yes, there was music news made at Comic Con, but it was barely heard above the double-exclamation-point headlines. Now that San Diego’s quiet, though, it’s clear the weekend held just as much excitement for music fans as fans of pale girls in Slave Leia costumes. Here are the highlights:

Metallica teased new movie, Metallica Through the Never, by destroying a city
After 32 years as a band, the guys in Metallica are bored. Lars Ulrich admitted as much as they premiered the trailer for Metallica Through The Never. “I think increasingly what makes our band work, we have to go do all these crazy projects, these sort of edgy, left-field projects because it’s what keeps us alive,” he said. Metallica’s latest “left-field” project is a combination of concert film, Mad Max, and riot porn that follows a roadie on a bizarre adventure through an apocalyptic wasteland. As for new music, Ulrich said, “2014 will be all about another Metallica record.”

Wayne Coyne released a comic book
The Sun Is Sick is a comic book for Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne, and it’s not for kids. “Depending on what sort of person you are, it may not be suitable for some of you non-children either,” Coyne said. Released at Comic Con, the book is a collection of weird doodles Coyne made over the past 18 months and tells the story of “two intergalactic maintenance workers fighting to save the sun from a cosmic grim reaper,” according to Paste. If the story doesn’t appeal, the artwork will. Who, after all, doesn’t like naked women licking giant eyeballs?

Weezer performed at the Walking Dead‘s 10th anniversary party
It could be argued that the band currently called Weezer is a zombified version of the band that released a classic debut album in 1994. Maybe that’s why Rivers Cuomo and crew were such a great fit to play at the anniversary of Robert Kirkman’s comic series-turned-TV show. Along with performing classics like “Say It Ain’t So,” the band treated fans to drawings of them as zombies made by artist Brian Ewing. Pretty convincing.

The debut of The Fifth Beatle
At least a dozen people have been called the “fifth Beatle,” but only one has his own graphic novel with that title. It’s Brian Epstein, the man who discovered the Beatles and managed them as they ascended from obscurity to ubiquity. Published by Dark Horse Comics, The Fifth Beatle looks at the band’s rise to stardom from Epstein’s perspective and delves into the challenges of being a gay, Jewish, and Liverpudlian in a time when, as author Vivek Tiwary put it, “that really was three strikes against you.”