"The Stainless Steel Rat" comics adaptation.
This is the USA edition of the original strip that appeared on the pages of 2000AD in England.
Based on the novels by Harry Harrison.
Words by Kevin Gosnell.
Drawings by Carlos Ezquerra.
Music to write comics by
One of the most important things an artists needs to learn is what kind of music works best to help with work. Music, being the ghost that it is, can make or break a working session, and picking up just the correct soundtrack for a day of work is just as important as finding the right mix for a party or a long road trip.
Of course every person has their own style and experience with this, and there aren’t correct answers here. But every artists must force itself to find the perfect music for their work. What I’ll do here is simply list some of my favorite records and composers that I like to listen to while I’m working, in the hopes that someone may find a new inspiration hiding in the list.
The most important of all is that we must never fall in the trap of sticking to the same 3 records forever. It is important to be constantly seeking new directions in music, for the more diverse is your repertoire, the better you will be able to control the direction of your inspiration.
First of all, when I’m writing, I simply cannot stand listening to any words. I can’t have people talking next to me, and I can’t have singers yelling lyrics at me. My brain is simply not very good with processing words in parallel. If I’m using part of it to select words from my memory banks and putting them in a certain order to achieve my goals, the rest of the brain should be dealing with musical notes and rhythms only, never with actual words. I have found that even music sung in lyrics I can’t understand, such as Japanese and Arabic, prevent me from writing and reading properly. So this list is going to be strictly instrumental.
Another thing I tend to consider is the mood I want to be in while writing. If I’m writing academic articles, I tend to prefer a neutral mood, but if I’m struggling with fiction, the music tends to be much more important on defining the tone of my prose. I might even listen to music I don’t like, in order to give my writing an uncomfortable feel to it.
So, at first, my most obvious choices would be movie scores.
Stu Phillips isn’t as famous as the others listed here, but his work is nonetheless popular and easily recognizable. He worked on several TV shows of the late 1970s and early 1980s, such as Battlestar Galactica, Knight Rider and others. He also worked on lots of movies, and released many instrumental records back in the 1960s.
The one Stu Phillips album that I really like is a compilation of scores he wrote for surf movies in the 1960s, specially a famous feature called “Ride the Wild Surf” that showed surfers in beaches from all over the world.
Bernard Herrmann is easily one of the most influential composers in all film history, having scored plenty of the best movies made by the best directors, such as Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles, and worked on several classics such as Cape Fear, Taxi Driver, The Day The Earth Stood Still, not to mention the Twilight Zone. He was one of the first movie composers to break with the traditional forms of classical music and force the tempo and notes to match the story and the editing of the films, creating haunting soundscapes at times, or breaking the music flow to disturb the listener, like in the iconic shower scene in Psycho.
Five Bernard Herrmann scores you should know:
- Taxi Driver
- The Day The Earth Stood Still
- Citizen Kane
That one Bernard Herrmann compilation everyone should have:
"Classic Fantasy Film Scores"
Vangelis is usually too 1980s for my taste, mostly because of “Miami Vice”, but lately I’ve been forcing myself to make peace with that decade. The Miami Vice theme still sounds too cheesy for me, but his “Blade Runner” score still tingles my spine. His music is one of the several little pieces that makes this movie so much more powerful than it would be if it depended on the director alone.
Five Vangelis scores you should give a try:
- Blade Runner
- Opera Sauvage
- Heaven & Hell
- Invisible Connections
But if you only have the time to listen to one of them, make sure it’s:
Blade Fuckin’ Runner
Ennio Morricone created some of my favorite music of all time, but just because I’m listening to “The Good The Bad and The Ugly” it doesn’t mean I’m going to write a western story with cowboys and random shootings. Besides, he wrote plenty of other scores.
The five albums you should try:
- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
- A Fistful of Dollars
- Danger: Diabolik
- Battle of Algiers
- Cinema Paradiso
The one album everyone should have:
"The Ennio Morricone Anthology: A Fistful of Film Music" (Rhino)
John Carpenter is one of my favorite film directors of all time for a variety of reasons, and one of them is the fact that he composed and even performed all of his music scores, using mostly synthesizers, creating haunting atmospheres.
- Escape From New York
- The Fog
- The Thing (with Ennio Morricone)
Lalo Schifrin is everyone’s favorite Argentinian, and his chamaleon powers helped him shape his jazz background into the forms and shapes required by his work. He wrote several memorable tracks, such as the themes from “Mission: Impossible” and “Starsky & Hutch”, movies like “Enter The Dragon”, and in his spare time he also recorded personal jazz albums, including a crossover with Stravinsky’s “Firebird”.
- Enter the Dragon
- Black Widow
- Magnum Force
- The Dissection and Reconstruction of Music from the Past as Performed by the Inmates of Lalo Schifrin’s Demented Ensemble as a Tribute to the Memory of the Marquis De Sade
- This Is How I Feel About Jazz
- They Call Me Mr. Tibbs
- Explores The Music Of Henry Mancini
- Body Heat
- Gula Matari
Jesus Christ Superstar
Breaffast At Tiffany’s
Chariots of Fire
Astro Sounds From Beyond The Year 2000
cover painting by Rafael Gallur
cover graphic design by some crazy moron