When you're trapped in a post-nuclear dystopia, what else is there to do but rock? That's the one-line premise behind Ray Fawkes and Cameron Stewart's The Apocalypstix, a new graphic novel series coming your way from Oni Press, home of Scott Pilgrim, later this year.

Updating Josie and The Pussycats' girl-band template for our brave new atomic future, comics' new expression of both Girl Power and Rock'n'Roll Power comes originally came from the frustrations of artist Stewart:

I was just finishing up my work on Catwoman with Ed Brubaker and I was feeling a little burned out and I wanted to draw something fun of my own creation to reinvigorate myself. I made a quick list of things I wanted to draw - cute girls was the top of the list, as anyone who knows me or my work should find completely unsurprising. I'm a big music fan so I wanted to do something that involved rock and roll in some way. And I absolutely did not want to draw lots of architecture, as I was getting sick of drawing the buildings in Gotham City. As a joke, I thought that the easiest environment to draw would be a desert, and then started thinking about how I could put girls and guitars in that setting. Soon I'd thought of an all-girl rock band in a ‘Mad Max'-like future wasteland.

Joining up with fellow Toronto-ite Fawkes, the pair created Mandy, Dot and Megumi (potentially the last Japanese girl alive), the last good band in a world full of evil musicians. As to why a future radioactive Earth finds itself full of bands, writer Fawkes thinks that it just makes sense:

It's sort of a chicken-or-egg situation. I mean, do a lot of musicians survive the apocalypse, or do a lot of people who survive decide that they really need to start making music?" Fawkes said. "If I wake up one day at three in the afternoon and discovered that my home town has been reduced to a cinder, I might just pick up the nearest harmonica and start honkin' it at anyone who wanders by. I might just.

The first volume in the series will debut at this year's San Diego Comic-Con at the end of next month; if you can't wait that long, there's a 50-page preview online here.

Ragna-Rock: Fawkes and Stewart on 'The Apocalypstix [Comic Book Resources]