One of the pioneers of hip-hop is coming to Denver…but not to take the mic. Darryl “DMC” McDaniels is one of the founding members of the seminal hip-hop group Run-DMC, which deservedly scored a number of historic firsts in the genre: first to hit gold, platinum and multi-platinum records, first to win a Grammy, first to appear on MTV and the cover of Rolling Stone. And the legendary musician is also an old-school comic-book fan.
And that’s what brings him to the Mile High City: Denver Comic Con — which will be held June 15 to 17 at the Colorado Convention Center downtown — where he’s a guest courtesy of his independent comic imprint called Darryl Makes Comics (check the acronym), which he uses to reach out to fans of hip-hop and comics alike, motivating and inspiring kids with the same comic-book medium that inspired him as a kid. In honor of his appearance at DCC, we caught up with DMC over email to talk about his work, his life, and what he’s got in store for fans that have been following him since the 1980s.
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Westword: So word is that you’re coming to Denver Comic Con 2018. What do you have in mind for the fans when they come by your booth?
Darryl "DMC" McDaniels: When people visit my booth, it’s like coming to talk to the friend you’ve known for a long time! I have so much in common with all the folks from 5 to 55! And I love that whatever I’ve missed from comics since I last collected...the fans/friends who visit our booth teach and inform me to keep me updated.
Comics were clearly instrumental in your life and career. You mention thinking specifically about the Hulk and Spider-Man in asking yourself how they’d handle a specific situation, almost modeling yourself after them. Do you think kids today, with the movie heroes, can do the same thing?
Kids can learn from all of the heroes they like....and all of the villains. The superheroes we have an attraction to — all have pieces, parts and characteristics that are part of us. Some stand out and some may not be as obvious but are there. Bottom line is, we all have an ability that we can tap into to defeat the demons and bad guys!
Your first DMC graphic novel is set in 1985. Why that year specifically?
It’s an ’80s-like universe. The 1980s were one of the most historically powerful artistic time periods ever! The real question is: It looks like the ’80s...but could it be the future????
What was the first comic book you remember buying? How did you decide to buy that particular issue?
Batman was the first comic book I bought. It just looked dark, scary, tough and cool at the same time. And Gotham reminded me a lot of NYC!
Do you still collect comic books? Outside of your own series, what’s your most prized issue?
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I sold all my comic books to buy two turntables and a mixer! Thank the Gods that that turned out well! My fav comic book is Fantastic Four #112…Hulk vs Thing! Awesome battle!
Dream team-up: if you could choose any one Marvel hero to partner with DMC for a story arc, who would it be?
The Marvel/DMC “team-up” that would be legendary, iconic and groundbreaking would be DMC and Spider-Man! We could call it “The Kings From Queens.” Peter Parker and Darryl Mack both come from Queens!!!!