Glenn Danzig v. The Internet
As this series has aimed to offer a critical examination of Danzig’s ubiquitous presence on the internet, we now shift our gaze from social media and internet parody and consider the always innovative and changing world of e-commerce. For this article, we’re limiting our discussion to the burgeoning market of handcrafted Danzig items, like Danzig skull belt-buckles and Danzig night lights (yeah, that’s a thing), that can be found on sites like Etsy and other platforms where independent artists sell their wares. Danzig’s presence in the realm of e-commerce is certainly greater than this niche market. Consider sites like eBay and Discogs where rare Misfits vinyl, show flyers, and other ephemera can fetch thousands of dollars. Not to mention, Danzig’s own adult comic company Verotik has their own eBay store where rare Danzig tour posters, comics, and other collectibles are sold.
This niche of handcrafted items has been chosen because it represents a relatively recent trend in e-commerce marketplaces and demonstrates that there are few reaches of the internet where you cannot find Danzig. Further, these handcrafted items show another side of his fans adoration and provide evidence to his pop culture prowess. Indeed, when your fan base has exhausted your merchandise catalog and begun putting your face on everything from prayer candles to suitcases you have transcended mere rock star status and officially become an icon. In other words, you’re a rock and roll icon if you’ve got an action figure. You’re a rock and roll icon if people are re-creating the jewelry you wear. You’re a rock and roll icon if someone has envisioned you riding a dragon and put it on a throw pillow.
FANS AS THIRD-PARTY SELLERS
Founded in 2005, Etsy is a website that emerged as a unique e-commerce platform for handmade and vintage items (from art, photography, jewelry, clothing, and more). Etsy’s rapid growth has been remarkable, sometimes controversial, and perfectly reflects the one constant of the Internets evolution: sometimes these new things explode faster than we can handle. Because Danzig is everywhere on the internet, it wasn’t long before Danzig themed items began to pop up. Whether you’re looking for a Danzig Lucifuge necklace, Danzig nesting dolls, Danzig ear-rings, or vintage Misfits shirts priced at $500, Etsy’s got you covered. Seriously, there’s a Danzig suitcase for crying out loud.
On the cover to his 1990 album Lucifuge, Danzig would adorn an inverted cross with Danzig skull necklace that would go on to be a trademark of his wardrobe for several years. On the tour for his third album, How the Gods Kill, Danzig would wear a silver Danzig skull belt buckle. Both the necklace and belt buckle have gone on to become items that fans have crafted themselves and go on to sell widely through online sites like Etsy. It’s the music, the lyrics, the image, and even the fashion that has helped make Danzig so universal in the deepest realms of the Internet.
Society6 is a site that offers a platform for artists to share their original work in a variety of mediums, from art prints to t-shirts to wall clocks. Sadly, an unnamed source at Society 6 recently verified to the Void Report that their Danzig-related merchandise was no longer for sale, “likely a result of a copyright claim.” This is a shame, because Danzig riding a dragon on a throw pillow and a Danzig’s French Onion Soup wall clock (stylized like Warhols Campbell’s soup cans) are totally badass. Of course, the Danzig skull logo has been spoofed many times over, including the George Costanza/Danzig mashup, a Danzig stormtrooper, Catzig, and hey, why not E.T. too? The folks at Redbubble have a variety of Danzig-ish things, not unlike what Society6 used to carry.
Perhaps there’s no truer validation of one’s status in pop-culture than a personalized action-figure. While the 2006 Medicom figures are the only officially licensed Danzig products, fans have gone on to create several custom Danzig action-figures that should be widely produced and sold. These custom figures can be found on sites like Figure Realm, check here (1, 2, 3). Last year, the Henry and Glenn comic guys produced a limited edition action figure run as well.
The Misfits have also produced action figures for the Crimson Ghost, bassist Jerry Only, and guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein. They even have a Crimson Ghost bobble head. But, the Misfits, unlike Danzig, have been known to take it too far, like Misfits shower curtains, Crimson Ghost Christmas lights, refrigerator magnets, key chains, watches, messenger bags. Basically, anything you can imagine. But, where Danzig has left the more kitschy merch for the Misfits, his fans have filled in the gaps with their own weird and awesome Danzig memorabilia and handcrafted items.
As previous installments in this series have shown, Danzig fans manifest their adoration in a variety of ways. They make memes, videos, and write parody pieces about Danzig suing Santa Claus. They also handcraft items like his jewelry, customize his skull logo on a variety of spoof t-shirts, and even design custom action figures. Hell, there’s even a guy out there doing a Danzig 3D printed bust. What is also apparent is that where there is Internet, there is Danzig. I’ve yet to find a Danzig porn parody (How the Gods Drill?), but it wouldn’t shock me to learn it’s out there.
– J. Kevin Lynch
Notes – Featured image by Snip Jackson.
Glenn Danzig v. The Internet