Scott Hoffman, better known as Babydaddy, the guitarist and instrumental engine of platinum best-selling 00’s-era pop band Scissor Sisters, has recently been finding his voice in a new medium: comics. On September 5, his latest work, Wag, billed as a neurodivergent science fiction series, drops on Amazon’s
Wag follows Hoffman’s debut, Nostalgia, another high-concept science fiction series that dropped on comiXology earlier this summer, but was actually written earlier, during the pandemic. The creative outburst suggests the musical wunderkind has found a new platform and a new audience for his vision. Hoffman announced the project at a panel at San Diego Comic-Con in July, moderated by his friend Phil Jiminez, a longtime comic artist for DC, Vertigo, and Marvel.
“I was always a big reader of genre fiction, horror and science fiction,” said Hoffman when we spoke just before his panel last month. “Jake [Shears, Scissor Sisters vocalist] and I originally bonded over reading, when we were in a fiction writing program just after we got out of school. At the time, I couldn’t figure out my writing voice and was more interested in performing, and now I’ve ended up doing this. It’s like a weird dream finally fulfilled.”
Hoffman says that even in the band, he and Shears were world-building through their songs and sound, and that fans of their musical approach might see something familiar in his voice and style of storytelling in the comics. “I think I’m seen as the more overly serious side of the band as reflected in the kinds of musical atmosphere and production,” said Hoffman. In Nostaglia, and to some extent in Wag, he said he wanted to show a little bit of the future of the industry, reflecting his thoughts from going through the experience firsthand.
He sees his latest forays into graphic storytelling as an extension of the same kind of creative project, including the aspect of collaborating – in this case with a visual artist – to bring the work to life. “It’s a different kind of collaboration, but very similar in that we would just kick ideas back and forth and let each other run with it,” he said.
“Wag is actually the first project that I wrote,” Hoffman said. “I was mentored by Phil Jimenez, who talked me into giving my writing a try. He asked me to join a weekly writing group with him and another friend of ours when the pandemic started. It was great, and I realized there were a million things I wanted to talk about.”
Hoffman says the story took shape over time as a way of working through anxieties about the pandemic. “It’s a combination of a lot of confusion about what was going on in the world and my interest in technology. We end up in a dystopian world, which is a tried and true trope that I was aware of as I was doing it. I wanted to turn it on its head, and also get into some technologies I was interested in like neural implants and artificial intelligence. That wasn’t much of a conversation when I wrote Wag three years ago and it’s very interesting to see it in today’s context.”
Hoffman’s foray into comics was well-received as fans packed one of the larger rooms at this year’s Comic-Con. While the crowd was smaller than the ones that Scissor Sisters played for in their heyday, he said he appreciates the intensity of comic fans and the sense of community.
As to whether the band might get back together someday, Hoffman says “we never say never, and I’d love for some kind of reunion to happen at some point, hopefully sooner than later.”
In the meantime, Hoffman hopes his old fans and a bunch of news ones will follow him from the stage to the page.