According to KSNV, SYSTEM OF A DOWN drummer John Dolmayan has just held a grand opening of his high-end comic book store Torpedo Comics in a new Las Vegas location that is double the size of its previous space.
Dolmayan has been acquiring rare comics for more than two decades. “I started selling in the early ’90s, because at 18 years old, it’s tough to go to your parents and say, ‘Can I have some money for comic books?'” he told Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Initially, I started off by losing a lot of money trying to sell books at conventions and stuff like that until I figured out how to do it. By the time SYSTEM got signed (in the late ’90s), I was making $55,000-$60,000 a year. I took a huge pay cut to join SYSTEM.”
Dolmayan, who encouraged Heidi Woan, the wife of LINKIN PARK turntablist Joe Hahn, to buy her husband a $10,000 issue of The Incredible Hulk No. 1 that’s currently worth more than $40,000, turned his business into an online outlet in 2003, and his physical shop currently stocks 60,000 modern and vintage issues.
“I don’t want 18 locations, I want the best location,” he told Vegas Seven. “The first time I walked into a store, everything came to life. It was like this fantasy world that I walked into. I want to replicate that.”
Dolmayan, who says that many modern comic shops have become “glorified gaming stores,” incorporated his love for comic books into the drum kit that he played during SYSTEM OF A DOWN‘s 2006 tour. Dolmayan contacted twenty-two of his favorite comic book artists, including Jim Lee, Simon Bisley, Kevin Eastman, Neal Adams and Bill Sienkiewicz, were each sent various pieces of the drum kit onto which they drew original illustrations.
Dolmayan revealed in a 2016 interview with Kerrang! magazine that SYSTEM OF A DOWN had written more than a dozen new songs for what could be its first new studio album in more than a decade.
Singer Serj Tankian, however — widely believed to be the one member holding out all this time against recording — was more ambivalent about the group’s plans, telling LA Weekly, “We’re going to get together and see if that’s going to be SYSTEM music or not. And who the fuck knows? If it is, great, and if it’s not, then great.”
SYSTEM OF A DOWN will return to Europe in June/July to play summer festivals and select headline dates.
The group’s last albums, “Mezmerize” and “Hypnotize”, both came out in 2005, after which the band started a lengthy hiatus. They reunited in 2011 for a string of European festival shows and have toured intermittently ever since.