Some time in the last decade, nerd culture became norm culture and with that came the inevitable nerd backlash. At times it seemed you couldn’t swing a Deadpool without hitting someone in a sour T-shirt that was angry about the latest celebrity talking about always loving the super-powered men in tight clothing that have taken over the multiplex.
But know this: Chris Daughtry’s comes by his nerdery honestly and his comic-book love runs deep. The American Idol star and lead singer of the band Daughtry has been a die-hard fan of the Caped Crusader for most of his life and he’s put in the work to prove it.
We talked with Daughtry on the day that Batman #50 dropped, sporting a Batman V. Superman-inspired cover drawn by the “It’s Not Over” singer himself.
How does an American Idol contestant end up drawing the cover of a Batman comic?
It’s actually kind of crazy. The whole thing was a few years in the making. I connected with [comic-book artist] Jim [Lee] back when I was on Idol. I messaged him on MySpace and we just connected. After talking back and forth, we ended up becoming friends. He did the artwork for our second album Leave This Town.
Then a year or two later — obviously at this point he knew that I drew — he asked if I would do a piece for a charity auction. It had to be a member of the Justice League and obviously there’s only one member of the Justice League [laughs].
After I did that, I kept talking to him about possibly doing variant covers. I kind of hounded him a bit. We ended up being together at this Halloween party and he asked “Would you be interested in doing a cover in March of Batman v. Superman to help promote the movie?” Of course, I said yes.
I kept bugging him for weeks to get back to me on what he wanted and when he needed it by. I said ‘Remember, Jim. I take a lot longer than you do.’ [laughs] Finally, I got this email with the guidelines of what they wanted. That kicked off a period where I was recording during the day, putting the kids to bed and going straight to the board to work. I was up until 3 a.m. every night, working on the pencils. I think I lost about 6 pounds trying to make the deadline.
Do you remember how you first got into Batman as a character?
I first became obsessed with Batman in 1984. I was watching the Super Friends cartoon and getting the whole toy line. I was obsessed and it never really petered out enough to become a “phase” in my life. I just loved anything Batman-related.
A lot of people, once they got famous, they spent their money on cars and other cool sh*t. I started buying more comic books and filling my house with action figures and Batman cowl replicas. Let’s just say I have a very forgiving wife [laughs].