Melissa Etheridge brings the secret origin of her guitars to comic books

Melissa Etheridge is a well-known singer, songwriter, guitarist, and activist – but now she can add one more role to her résumé: comic book creator.

The two-time Grammy Award-winning musician is developing an original graphic novel (OGN) called Melissa Etheridge’s Heartstrings (opens in new tab), which will focus on her immense guitar collection – a collection which began when her father gave her the first one when she was eight. 

Melissa Etheridge's Heartstrings cover

Melissa Etheridge’s Heartstrings cover (Image credit: Z2 Comics)

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“As many of my fans know, my relationship is to my guitars is beyond special and these instruments hold a very significant place in my life,” Etheridge says in the announcement of the graphic novel. “I am so excited to share all these stories and images from my entire collection and have them all be a part of this incredible graphic novel.”

Etheridge is working on the Melissa Etheridge’s Heartstrings OGN with comic book writer Frank Marrafino, music journalist Steve Hochman, and artist Manuela Pertega. The quartet will focus on one specific guitar in each chapter, contextualized around Etheridge’s storied career.

“From the very first time I saw Melissa perform, when she was still an unknown but clearly explosive talent, I’ve wanted to help her share her story with the world and have been privileged to do so throughout the years,” says Hochman, who writes for Rolling Stone. “But in sharing the story of these guitars, there’s no better way than in this creative format, in which we get to show as well as tell the tales of her incredible collection of stringed instruments, vividly portrayed through Frank’s brilliance with dialogue and scene-setting, and in Manuela’s captivating artwork.”

Melissa Etheridge’s Heartstrings will be published by Z2 Comics, which has become known for numerous music-themed graphic novels in recent years including ones on Elvis Presley, The Doors, Jason Derulo, and Czarface.

Melissa Etheridge’s Heartstrings goes on sale in June 2022, coinciding with Pride Month. The OGN is planned to be available in several editions: softcover and hardcover, as well as deluxe and super deluxe versions through Z2 Comics’ website that include exclusive vinyl, art prints, signed guitars, and more. 

Find a local comic shop and place your pre-order now on this (and any other upcoming comic) you’re interested in.

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