Watch: BRUCE DICKINSON Discusses ‘The Mandrake Project’ At WONDERCON In Anaheim

Legendary IRON MAIDEN frontman Bruce Dickinson made his first appearance at a U.S. comic convention on Saturday, March 30 at WonderCon in Anaheim, California for a panel discussion on his debut comic book series.

For the last decade, Dickinson has been developing the story of “The Mandrake Project”, his saga about the century-long battle for the human control of immortality. Coinciding with the release of the second issue in the series and his solo album of the same name, Bruce was joined at the Anaheim Convention Center by Bill Sienkiewicz (Eisner Award-winning comic artist),Rantz Hoseley (Eisner Award-winning editor),Josh Bernstein (Ringo Award-winning editor),and moderator Ryan J. Downey (MTV News) to talk about the creation of this exciting quarterly series.

Video and photos of b>Bruce’s appearance at the 2024 WonderCon can be found below.

“The Mandrake Project” was released on March 1 via BMG. Bruce and his long-term co-writer and producer Roy “Z” Ramirez recorded the LP largely at Los Angeles’s Doom Room, with Roy Z doubling up as both guitarist and bassist. The recording lineup for “The Mandrake Project” was rounded out by keyboard maestro Mistheria and drummer Dave Moreno, both of whom also featured on Bruce‘s previous solo studio album, “Tyranny Of Souls”, in 2005.

Last November, Bruce told Brazil’s Omelete about the lyrical concept for “The Mandrake Project”: “So ‘The Mandrake Project’ is, one, is an album. It’s the name of the album. The comic is a 12-episode graphic novel, kind of adult. There’s lots of stuff in it — there’s lots of sex and drugs and violence and all kinds of stuff. But it’s basically a story about a guy who is looking for his identity, Dr. Necropolis. He’s an orphan, he’s a genius, and he hates it, and he hates life, but he’s involved in The Mandrake Project. And The Mandrake Project aims to take the human soul at the point of death, capture it, store it and put it back in something else. And the guy that’s running the project, Professor Lazarus, he has one vision of what’s gonna happen with this technology, and Necropolis has other ideas. And on we go with the story.”

Asked how he came up with the idea to mash together music and comics, Bruce said: “Well, I think they do kind of go together. They really do. Music and games, music and comics, comics and games, they’re all related.”

He continued: “Years ago, IRON MAIDEN, we were doing some cover art, and I said, ‘Why don’t we do a comic?’, like the comics that I used to read when I was a kid… When I suggested doing some covers, comic covers, we did some single artwork for IRON MAIDEN, and I thought, ‘You know what? This is kind of cool.’ Then later, MAIDEN had a video game called ‘Legacy Of The Beast’; we still do. But what came with a video game, somebody produced a series of comics. And I thought they looked fantastic, but they lacked a story. And that got me thinking, what if you had an album that had a story that could be turned into a comic and the two things would work together? As it happened, they’ve actually grown apart. So, the [original] album, in 2014, was gonna be one comic with the album — that’s it. Then, COVID happened, other things happened, seven years went by, and I had a 12-episode graphic novel. And I went, ‘I don’t wanna restrict the album to being like a script for this.’ These two things exist separately, but they inform each other. So you can look at the album and go, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s kind of related to the comic.’ And you look at the comic and go, ‘Oh, I see that might be a little bit related to the album,’ but they’re not dependent on each other. So you can buy the comic or you can buy the album — or both.”

On November 30, 2023, Dickinson unveiled the dramatic, action-packed video for “Afterglow Of Ragnarok”, the first single to be taken from “The Mandrake Project”. In front of a packed audience on the opening day of CCXP23, Brazil’s huge Comic-Con event in São Paulo, the IRON MAIDEN frontman premiered the spectacular film and revealed further details about the album and comic series in partnership with Z2, including releasing 2,000 CCXP-exclusive versions of the comic to the delight of the international comic community.

“The Mandrake Project” is a dark, adult story of power, abuse and a struggle for identity, set against the backdrop of scientific and occult genius. Created by Dickinson, the comic series is scripted by Tony Lee and stunningly illustrated by Staz Johnson for Z2 Comics, released as 12 quarterly issues that will be collected into three annual graphic novels.

Dickinson made his recording debut with IRON MAIDEN on the “Number Of The Beast” album in 1982. He quit the band in 1993 in order to pursue his solo career and was replaced by Blaze Bayley, who had previously been the lead singer of the metal band WOLFSBANE. After releasing two traditional metal albums with former MAIDEN guitarist Adrian Smith, Dickinson rejoined the band in 1999 along with Smith.

Long line to meet Bruce Dickinson

Posted by Mon Francisco on Saturday, March 30, 2024

Bruce Dickinson signing at WonderCon today.
Pics by Z2 Comics

#BruceDickinson #TheMandrakeProject #PieceOfMind

Posted by Eddie The Head Fan Club on Saturday, March 30, 2024

Meet Bruce Dickinson today. Got some Maiden and Mandrake project items signed 👌

Posted by Pee Jay on Saturday, March 30, 2024


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