Z2 Comics And Dee Snider: The Fight Against Censorship And The PMRC With ‘He’s Not Gonna Take It’ Graphic Novel

by Richard Bruton

Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider and Z2 Comics collaborate on the graphic novel He’s Not Gonna Take It to tell the tale of the 1985 First Amendment battles over music censorship.

He’s Not Gonna Take It Cover Art by Erik Rodriguez

When Twisted Sister’s lead singer, Dee Snider, walked into the US Senate’s Committee on Commerce in 1985 wearing a jean jacket and tank top, looking every inch the rocker, he was soon to become a rather unlikely advocate of free speech in an era where music came under attack.

He was in Washington DC to confront a band of concerned political spouses, led by Tipper Gore, who were intent on silencing the likes of Snider’s Twisted Sister and many more acts, from metal and beyond. Tipper Gore’s committee labeled themselves the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) and had been lobbying hard to plaster ‘Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics’ labels on any music that conformed to their particular definition of sexual, violent, or drug-endorsing.

Now, in partnership with Z2 Comics, Snider’s war to preserve the first amendment is detailed in He’s Not Gonna Take It, a graphic novel charting the rocker’s battle against censorship and free speech advocacy alongside writer Frank Marraffino and artist Steve Kurth.

But more than a story of those hearings, He’s Not Gonna Take It charts the life of Dee Snider, from a childhood where he was frequently silenced, through early efforts to stifle his band’s music, to the open warfare of the PMRC hearings in Washington DC, and his current efforts on social media.  He’s Not Gonna Take It tells the story of why free speech is so important to this man who has perpetually fought for it — even when it endangered everything that was important to him.

Dee Snyder at the 1985 hearings

 

… and Dee Snyder today

“When I look back on that historic day, I think, ‘How did I fit balls that big into those skin-tight jeans!?’ Then I reflect on the fact that I still stand for everything I stood for all those years ago…and I’m ready to do battle again.” – Dee Snyder

“Unless you grew up during the PMRC hearings, I don’t think you can really understand what a massive impact it had as teenagers watched Dee testify before congress about the importance of freedom of speech. Metal and rock preached rebellion and fighting back in the song lyrics, but here was the only frontman who was walking the walk. In a world where you thought that adults said one thing and did another, it was the moment where you could believe… Yes, there are people out there who will fight for what is right, against all odds, no matter what the cost. It’s a story that is more vital today than ever.” – Editor Rantz Hoseley

As with all Z2 Comics releases, He’s Not Gonna Take It will be available in both softcover and hardcover formats, as well as oversized hardcover deluxe, and an oversized hardcover deluxe hand-signed edition from the Z2 Comics website. Deluxe editions include retro-comic art prints from Roy Burdine, Javier Aranda, and Carlos Olivares, as well as a Dee Snider commemorative coin.

He’s Not Gonna Take It Print Art by Carlos Olivares
He’s Not Gonna Take It Print Art by Javier Aranda
He’s Not Gonna Take It Print Art by Roy Burdine 
He’s Not Gonna Take It Deluxe Cover Art by Josh Bernstein

 

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