Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso Says Hip-Hop And Comic Books are Closer Than Ever
"I grew up reading comics with my dad—my stepdad, but I don’t use that word—he let me just have his comic collection. So this is a very big deal for me, man," Killer Mike told Rolling Stone. "I look forward to when this shit drops, taking him up and driving him to the comics store in North Dekalb, just to let him get out and not even tell him that it’s going down. I know he’s gonna be so proud he could fuckin' cry, bruh."
Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso—who's also a huge RTJ fan—was inspired by Run The Jewels' worldwide street art initiative. "Tag The Jewels," Mike and El's Tumblr-fueled art initiative, featured 30 graffiti artists from across the globe who were invited to create their own rendition of the Run The Jewels 2 album art on streets in various countries. Huge art pieces of the cover were made on the streets of Los Angeles, Jakarta, Chicago, Paris, Sao Paolo, Lagos, Auckland, Warsaw, New Delhi and many more. So the RTJ-inspired Marvel covers were another notch in the duo's belt last year.
But Killer Mike and El-P weren't the only ones to get the Marvel treatment. Earlier in November, Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi of Rae Sremmurd landed on the cover of a Captain America issue, while Birdman would wind up covering a special edition Spider-Man issue. And hip-hop has a long history with comic books going back to the early days of Wu-Tang and beyond, of course. But with Marvel embracing hip-hop so heavily in recent weeks, XXL got Marvel EIC Axel Alonso on the phone to discuss the RTJ-inspired covers for Deadpool and Howard The Duck, why those covers are different from Birdman's and Rae Sremmurd's Marvel covers and the role of comic books in pop and hip-hop culture. —Emmanuel C.M.
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