New Book Features Hardcore Musicians in Superhero Form

Hardoes: Superheroes of Hardcore is a new book by artist Marc UÅ, a veteran of the Swedish hardcore scene. The book features over 100 illustrations of folks from the hardcore and alternative music world in comic book style.

It's clearly a fun project for Marc, so I chatted with him about the book and how it all came together.

From what I remember, you started sharing your superhero illustrations on Instagram last year. Did you always plan on collecting them for a book, or did that happen because you enjoyed drawing them so much?

I started doing these just as a way to connect with the hardcore community. Do something that gave me a good reason to contribute something to the subculture that has been my main focus since I was 10 years old.

I found it so satisfying that I quickly had a big bunch of them, so pretty soon I started to think about ways to show them as a collection. I do see them as a very effective online tool though, to use when a band release new material or announce a tour. They’re meant to be shared and used freely.

Do you work off specific photos of your subjects when you create them? How do you go about capturing the essence of each performer in the series?

I do these very naturally and spur of the moment. Certain people have very pronounced physical attributes, be it visually or how they carry themselves. But I mainly work out of the classic comics superhero poses more than the musician.

Luckily though, most people are very physical performers so jumping and kicking and flexing is already a part of their act.

Have you heard from many of the musicians you’ve illustrated? I would be honored if someone took the time to do come up with an illustration of me, but I also know how annoying some people can be!

Yes, a majority of the people I have illustrated have shared the image or commented. I would say most of the negative response I’ve gotten has been from fans, complaining I haven’t nailed the essence of their favorite artist.

I do all of these illustrations as a way to reach out and connect and communicate with other people, so any interaction is mostly better than none at all. I demand nothing from no one, so any response is a bonus.

People that love hardcore are some of the most collector-crazed music fans I know. I could see this series expanded into trading cards, a comic book series, or other mediums. Do you have plans like that in store?

This book has perforated tear off pages, so that you can rip it out and put on your wall as a fan poster. I am an old-school NHL hockey card collector (95-96 NJ Devils and Martin Brodeur specifically), so trading cards would be a dream. I would need some help putting all of that together though, but would love to.

My pal Hunter Delaney has done a really cool hardcore comic book recently, so I would direct people to him. 

Marc UÅ in his art studio

You’re always busy with several projects. What else do you have cooking at the moment?

I divide my time between designing band merch, handling my soda brand Cloudberry Grenade, making murals, fine art, illustration assignments, and stuff for the fast-food chain, Bastard Burgers.

I always love doing music-related work, and I always prioritize those. If people appreciate these superhero illustrations, I will make more. Anyone I haven’t done yet, please don’t be afraid to ask for one.

I want to get to know people and share the love of hardcore and alternative music through these, they are not meant to just be for me. I love Hardcore forever and has so much to give back to it.

Hardoes: Superheroes of Hardcore is available now directly from Marc at this link.

Here's Umeå Hardcore, a playlist Marc put together for the No Echo Spotify profile: 

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