Samsara was one of the biggest grunge bands of the early ’90s, and then its lead singer shot killed himself with a gunshot wound to the head. If it sounds like the story of Nirvana, that’s because it basically is, but the new Heavy Metal series Skip To The End, announced at this week’s Emerald City Comic-Con, uses this real-world inspiration as the basis for a narrative that is considerably more fantastic in nature.
Samsara’s bassist, Jonny Wells, didn’t start up a successful band like his drummer bandmate, and 20 years after the height of his music career, he’s working as a bartender to fund his drug habit. That all changes when he gets his hand on a guitar that sends him back in time, giving him the opportunity to change the course of Samsara’s history when he ends up back in the early ’90s.
“I’ve always believed that music’s transportive property is the closest I’ll ever get to experiencing time travel,” says writer Jeremy Holt. “Based on that, I decided to explore, examine, and revise the history of my all-time favorite band, Nirvana, and Skip To The End was born. Having worked with Alex [Diotto] for over five years, we’ve developed a genuine trust in each other’s abilities that has produced a shorthand to our collaborative process. We also share similar tastes in music, so I had no doubt in my mind that he would match my passion for this project.”
“After wrapping up Southern Dog, we left each other saying that we would work again together in the near future,” says Diotto. “Some time passed, and one day Jeremy wrote me an email pitching an idea for a new book about time travel and grunge music. I immediately liked the concept of the story and the things he wanted to tell.”
When asked about his favorite thing to draw in Skip To The End, Diotto had a broad answer: “Pretty much everything. From the setting to the characters, their emotions, their clothes (flannel shirts and ripped jeans!), the guitars. I love the ’90s so it’s a joy to draw such a book.” Readers can join Jonny on his trip back in time when Skip To The End #1 is released on August 3, but in the meanwhile, The A.V. Club has a preview of the four pages providing a quick summary of Samsara’s rise to fame and Jonny’s fall from grace.