Meet Sweetie Candy Vigilante! Sugar-Fueled Antiheroine Makes Her Way from Music to Comics

Jul 18 2022

Coming monthly in October from Dynamite publisher of The Boys, Vampirella, and many others!

Sugar, sugar, a brand new super-sweet antiheroine is hitting the stands! Meet NYC’s Sweetie Candy Vigilante – from creator/writer Suzanne Cafiero and producer John Cafiero.

Honey-dipped and dark humor infused, Sweetie Candy Vigilante is a unique multimedia character following in the footsteps of other “bad girls” like Harley Quinn and Dynamite’s own Vampirella. She first debuted on the cover for the album Ear Candy by the group Osaka Popstar (featuring a dynamic punk cover of the classic Archies track, “Sugar, Sugar”). The first issue of the new comic series comes bundled with an MP3 download code to check out the song – perfect to put on while reading the book!

“I’m honored to have Sweetie continue the long legacy of badass vigilante women in comics and media, including those in the stellar orbit of Dynamite’s roster,” said writer Suzanne Cafiero. “I created Sweetie Candy Vigilante because I wanted to read a comic that has authentic NYC flavor infused with fantasy, horror, and dark humor. I’m really immersed in the SCV story. My lifelong NYC residency, along with childhood obsessions, love of art, music, film and comics has culminated in the creation of Sweetie, so buckle-up gumdrop!”

Dynamite and the creative team are kicking off this exciting treat with an extra-sized first issue – extra pages, same sweet price of $3.99. The comic series is written and created by Suzanne Cafiero, produced, edited, and art directed by John Cafiero, and features artwork by Jeff Zornow (Godzilla). Artist Josh Howard (Dead@17) provides two variant covers in addition to Zornow’s, with one presenting the artwork he created for the aforementioned album cover.

Sweetie is an ethereal, charming, and beautiful relative of the mythical “candy man.” She might just be a little bit unhinged, or perhaps unconventional. When she starts to notice her community of New York City being plagued by blight, decay, and dourness, she becomes hell-bent on spreading her blood-caked and sugar-coated manifesto on society. Equipped with other-worldly powers, confectionary weapons, and a passionate heart, she won’t stop until the world around her is as sweet as her!

First on her list is her favorite sweet shop the Ice Cream Bunny, run by an eponymous old friend. Only problem is, what stands there now is a front for a notorious crime syndicate. Which means it’s time for Sweetie to tear the whole place and all its thugs apart, limb by limb. All the while enjoying the new version of “Sugar, Sugar” on the jukebox!

“I was readying to record new material with Osaka Popstar and Suzanne asked if I would record a punk cover of “Sugar, Sugar” to connect with Sweetie,” said producer John Cafiero. “I thought it would be fun and cool to include it as a free MP3 in the first issue and decided to take it a step further by having Sweetie appear on the cover of the record, which I titled Ear Candy. I love to create a full multimedia experience, and thought, let’s introduce Sweetie to the world not only on the cover, but set the stage for the upcoming series by including a variant version of issue #1, digitally, on the download card of the physical vinyl and CD. For the cover art, I wanted Josh to illustrate Sweetie holding a record literally made of candy, with a bite taken out of it. Bringing it full circle, I went to great lengths to create a real-life vinyl record you could hold in your hands, and even spin on your turntable, that looks exactly as you see it in Sweetie’s hands in the cover art!”

Osaka Popstar is the pop-punk multimedia music and art project led by singer/producer John Cafiero, longtime Misfits and Ramones collaborator and platinum selling film and video director. Alongside backing band members from the Misfits, Ramones, Black Flag, and more, Cafiero and Osaka Popstar have been met with rave reviews.Their latest release Ear Candy has been featured on CNN and debuted at #7 on the Top 10 SubModern album chart.

“When John called us to publish the new comic series he’s produced, we were more than intrigued. He then sent us some of the art and story, as well the album, and we were floored at how great everything is and said yes immediately!,” said Nick Barrucci, Dynamite CEO and Publisher. “The mix of story and art is fantastic, and the fact that John is adding in an MP3 to the comic, is helping to grow the market in bringing his audience to comics retailers. We know the fans will love this, and to bring in more fans, is what any publisher wants for the industry, to grow it.”

SWEETIE CANDY VIGILANTE #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors’ August 2022 Previews catalog, the premier source of merchandise for the comic book specialty market, and slated for release in October 2022. Comic book fans are encouraged to preorder copies of the issue with their local comic book retailers. It will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Kindle, iBooks, Google Play, Dynamite Digital, ComicsPlus, and more!

Read more at Bleeding Cool.

About Dynamite Entertainment
Dynamite was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The Boys, The Shadow, Red Sonja, Warlord of Mars, Bionic Man, A Game of Thrones, and more. Dynamite owns and controls an extensive library with over 3,000 characters (which includes the Harris Comics and Chaos Comics properties), such as Vampirella, Pantha, Evil Ernie, Smiley the Psychotic Button, Chastity, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt. In addition to their critically-acclaimed titles and bestselling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high-profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Gail Simone, Christopher Priest, Leah Moore, Kevin Smith, David Walker, Vita Ayala, Danny Lore, Neil Gaiman, Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson, Mark Russell, Brandon Thomas, Amy Chu, Reginald Hudlin, Nancy Collins, David Walker, Steve Orlando, Greg Pak, Jenny Frison, Matt Wagner, and a host of up-and-coming new talent. Dynamite is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles – including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger’s Project Superpowers – have debuted in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors. In 2005, Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%) and again in 2011. The company has also been nominated for and won several industry awards, including the prestigious Harvey and Eisner Awards.


May 10 2022

Written, Produced & Directed by John Cafiero (Osaka Popstar), the new animated music video for the single “Lost & Found” from the band’s latest release “Ear Candy” (out now on Misfits Records in association with Demented Punk), stars actor/comedian/musician Fred Armisen (of Portlandia, Documentary Now, SNL), along with Osaka Popstar (all in animated form), and features cameos by the Osaka Popstar Devil Dogs, the Kawaii Black Metal trio, Sweetie Candy Vigilante, and includes nods to Saturday morning breakfast cereals, the Partridge Family, The Archies, the Monkees and more! Click above or below to watch now.


May 06 2022

Ear Candy debuts all-new material and ‘sweet’ new recordings by Osaka Popstar wrapped in a candy-coated punk-rock package sure to induce a sugar rush!!

Limited Edition Candy Swirl “bite” Vinyl (as seen in the cover art), includes download card with MP3s and exclusive variant “Sweetie Candy Vigilante” 32-page digital comic book.

CD in deluxe gatefold packaging with free 2-sided poster and download card with exclusive variant Sweetie Candy Vigilante 32-page digital comic book.

Fronted (and produced) by longtime Misfits and Ramones collaborator John Cafiero on vocals, with Dean Rispler (formerly of NY performance art-rock band The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black) switching off on guitar and bass duties, with Jon Wurster (of Superchunk, Bob Mould & The Mountain Goats) on Drums. Includes guest appearance by indie rocker Colleen Green on backing vocals for two tracks, gorgeous front cover art by Josh Howard (Dead @ 17 comics), wicked back cover art by Jeff Zornow (Godzilla comics), kawaii black metal interior art by Nemons (Gary Hall), download card w/ MP3s + an exclusive variant full-color 32 page “Sweetie Candy Vigilante” digital comic book unavailable anywhere else!

In addition to being one of the coolest and most unique looking vinyl records you’re ever to find, Ear Candy is cut at 45RPM for maximum sound quality.

ORDER NOW on Vinyl or CD plus look for the new Ear Candy & Kawaii Black Metal Tees and pins too!

Also available wherever digital music is offered.

Get EXCLUSIVE variants and FREE Osaka Popstar Saturday Morning cereal Candy when you order the RED Swirl “Bite” Variant Vinyl or Deluxe CD bundles in the Osaka Popstar Online Store NOW!


Feb 04 2022

All-new Expanded Edition of the anime-punk-rock mash-up debut album by Osaka Popstar!

Available for the first time on vinyl, “Osaka Popstar and the American Legends of Punk” has been fully remastered and pressed on limited edition 180-gram vinyl with enhanced front and back cover artwork, newly added bonus tracks, 20-page book with expanded art, essays, liner notes, and more. LP comes housed in Deluxe gatefold spot UV packaging with MP3 download card. Also available on CD in Deluxe spot UV Digipak w/ 20-PG Book.

Check out the new animated spot starring Osaka Popstar’s ‘Crunchy Crossbones’ mascot voiced by Roger L. Jackson (best known as the voice of Mojo Jojo in “The Powerpuff Girls” & Ghostface from the “Scream” horror film franchise). Click Here to watch and confirm for yourself that Osaka Popstar Sounds Crunchy Even in Milk!


Fronted and produced by longtime Misfits and Ramones collaborator John Cafiero, “Osaka Popstar and the American Legends of Punk” features a backing band of super luminary original punk rock super heroes, including Jerry Only (The Misfits), Marky Ramone (The Ramones), Dez Cadena (Black Flag), and Ivan Julian (Richard Hell & the Voidoids), plus a special guest appearance by indie music icon Daniel Johnston. They rip through a roller coaster of high-speed hooks and catchy choruses, recalling the very best of New York City punk rock.

If classic NY punk, anime, cult movies, comic books and toys formed a band on a sugar rush it would sound like Osaka Popstar.

“The Best ‘Punk’ Album in 25 Years. Osaka Popstar is a high concept project that bashes through generational barriers. They combine roots-punk style music a la the Buzzcocks, the Undertones, the Ramones, and the Misfits, and then incorporate this into Japanese Saturday morning cartoon imagery. It’s sort of like the Archies on steroids, or the Fountains Of Wayne on amphetamines. Osaka Popstar have perfected a near-miraculous combination of fun and catharsis that leaves you breathless, exhausted, and completely satisfied.” – American Hit Network

“You should be warned… The verses are catchier than many a groups’ choruses, and the choruses are like three-chord crack. And similarly irresistible.” – Classic Rock Magazine

“The existence of the Osaka Popstar’s debut is further proof that God loves the Ramones. The album is a phenomenal ode to power pop and deeply infectious pop punk. Inspired heavily by Japanese Animation (check out the album art work and the two music videos)… it should be standard issue for every punk popper wannabe even dreaming about starting a band.” – AMP (American Music Press-Monthly)


1.) Wicked World
2.) Astro Boy
3.) Sailor Moon
4.) Man of Constant Sorrow
5.) Insects
6.) I Live Off You
7.) Xmas Intro (That Almost Wasn’t)
8.) The Christmas that Almost Wasn’t
9.) Love Comes in Spurts
10.) Blank Generation
11.) Monsters
12.) Where’s the Cap’n? (Extra Crunchy Mix)
13.) Shaolin Monkeys

Bonus Tracks:

14.) Super Hero
15.) Beat on the Brat (Studio Version)


Get the new Vinyl or CD in one of our online Exclusive Expanded Edition Bundles to score some ‘crunchy’ new Osaka Popstar Merch along with it, save money, and score a FREE MYSTERY TEE too!

For a limited time, all Osaka Popstar Expanded Edition Bundle orders will include a Free Bonus Mystery T-shirt featuring a classic Osaka Popstar design!


Feb 04 2022

This special 12-inch split maxi-single features GRAMMY award winner “Weird Al” Yankovic teamed with NYC’s Osaka Popstar paying homage to the founding fathers of punk rock, The Ramones!

Pressed on black vinyl in an edition of 3,000 for indie shops through RSD Black Friday, it’s now available in an ONLINE EXCLUSIVE RED VINYL VARIANT limited to 400 pcs wordlwide while supplies last! The 12-inch features cover art by Topps Garbage Pail Kids artist Neil Camera and includes a 2-sided full color inner sleeve with live photos, artwork and liner notes, plus MP3 download card.

Hailed by Rolling Stone as “a blistering, accordion-tinged cover,” “Beat on the Brat” features “Weird Al” on lead vocals and accordion, backed by Osaka Popstar, (John Cafiero on backing vocals, Dean Rispler on guitar, Sal Maida (Sparks) on bass, and Dennis Diken (The Smithereens) on drums). Originally appearing on the #1 charting punk-comedy crossover album “Dr. Demento Covered in Punk,” the aforementioned studio version, (Produced by longtime Misfits and Ramones collaborator John Cafiero), is accompanied by two exclusive, previously unavailable LIVE bonus tracks (“Beat on the Brat” and “I Wanna Be Sedated”) performed by “Weird Al” and his band on the “Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour!”

“Weird Al”, a pop culture icon, who also happens to be the most requested artist in the history of the Dr. Demento Show, stated of the recording, “How could I not contribute to this project. I love punk music, and Dr. Demento changed my entire life in an extraordinary way. I selected “Beat on the Brat” by the Ramones, because I truly believe it’s the most upbeat, danceable song about child abuse ever written.”

The flip side features an all-new studio version of the title track by Osaka Popstar (from the new Expanded Edition of the critically acclaimed “Osaka Popstar and the American Legends of Punk” album), plus 3 additional Ramones covers by Osaka Popstar recorded LIVE in concert—with special guest appearances by members of the Misfits, Ramones & Black Flag—never before released on vinyl!

The black vinyl pressing debuted at participating indie stores on Friday November 26, exclusively from Demented Punk Records for RSD Black Friday 2021.

T-Shirts and pins featuring the “Weird Al” GPK-inspired ‘Brat Beater’ artwork are available from Demented Punk.


1.) “Beat on the Brat” (from the album “Dr. Demento Covered in Punk”)
2.) “Beat on the Brat” – LIVE (First Time EVER on Vinyl)
3.) “I Wanna Be Sedated” – LIVE (First Time EVER on Vinyl)


1.) “Beat on the Brat” (from the forthcoming expanded edition of “Osaka Popstar & the American Legends of Punk”)
2.) “Beat on the Brat” – LIVE (First Time EVER on Vinyl)
3.) “Blitzkrieg Bop” – LIVE (First Time EVER on Vinyl)
4.) “The KKK Took My Baby Away” – LIVE (First Time EVER on Vinyl)


Apr 14 2021

Produced by longtime Misfits and Ramones collaborator John Cafiero (Osaka Popstar), and originally appearing on the #1 billboard charting album “Dr. Demento Covered In Punk,” Weird Al Yankovic’s “Beat On The Brat” was hailed by Rolling Stone as “a blistering, accordion-tinged cover.”

“Weird Al”, a pop culture icon, who also happens to be the most requested artist in the history of the Dr. Demento Show, stated of the recording, “How could I not contribute to this project. I love punk music, and Dr. Demento changed my entire life in an extraordinary way. I selected “Beat on the Brat” by the Ramones, because I truly believe it’s the most upbeat, danceable song about child abuse ever written.”

Performed by: “Weird Al” Yankovic on vocals and accordion, with Osaka Popstar (John Cafiero on backing vocals, Dean Rispler on guitar, Sal Maida on bass, and Dennis Diken on drums), this 3” black vinyl record, pressed in an edition limited to 1,500 units worldwide, is made to play on the RSD3 mini-turntable (as well as the RSD 2020 clear variant). Comes with a collector’s poster and sleeve featuring Weird Al ‘Brat Beater’ artwork by Garbage Pail Kids artist Neil Camera.

Available at participating indie stores on Sat July 17, exclusively from Demented Punk Records for RSD 2021! Contact your local record store to let them know it’s on your wish list and ask them to order! For a list of participating stores near you, visit

Also look for “Weird Al” T-Shirts and pins featuring the GPK-inspired ‘Brat Beater’ artwork at the Demented Punk Online Store.

Story of an Artist…

Sep 12 2019

Daniel Johnston & John Cafiero

I am truly and deeply saddened by Daniel Johnston’s passing. It’s affected me in equal measure to the passing of the founding Ramones; who were nothing short of my childhood heroes. They meant the world to me—and still do. I feel now like I did then; maybe a bit older and wiser, but no less devastated. There’s one less star in the night sky and it burns less brilliantly for it. Daniel and his work were sincerity personified, human emotion in the purest sense of the word. I experienced his music for the first time listening to WFMU in the very late hours one night in the late 1980s… a block of several songs from his lo-fi masterpiece “Songs of Pain” was played from a homemade cassette album that included a cut called “Wicked World”. It simply blew me away and hit hard. One after another the songs by this unidentified artist rolled on to tell the story of a tortured soul, unafraid to lay it all on the line with a unique sense of isolation and intimacy. It was as if you were right there with him in the room, strapped in for an emotional rollercoaster ride. I’d never heard anything like it. So incredibly heartfelt and well crafted, yet beautifully imperfect and devoid of any pretense whatsoever. I quickly sought out his entire catalog in a non-internet age, hitting the jackpot with a treasure trove of cassette albums by this relatively unknown artist available for sale just a few towns over in Hoboken NJ at a store called Pier Platters. I’d go back every week or so to pick up another, and another… And I’d make anyone that would listen, listen.

That first impression made such a lasting impact that years later I would record a punk version of “Wicked World” with Osaka Popstar, giving it a treatment I could always hear playing out in my head when listening to the original. I channeled all of the power Daniel brought with his sincerity, purity and raw emotion into the power and purity I’d been taught by the Ramones. Daniel dug it (which meant a lot to me) and that led to our collaborating on a punk-pop cover of the bluegrass classic “Man of Constant Sorrow”. I envisioned Daniel as the voice of hope to the “man of sorrow” and so—he was. We scheduled the session in NYC around a gig he’d do at the Knitting Factory. Our mutual friend, artist Ron English, came to the session and snapped the photo of us (shown above) immediately after the recording wrapped. It was raining when we left the studio and headed out on our way for a shopping spree at comic book shops and toy stores along St Marks place. Daniel drew his iconic illustrations in the fog on the car windows as I played him A Camp (Nina Persson’s band)’s cover of his song “Walking the Cow”. It was unreleased in America at the time and I felt it was an amazing rendering that warranted his attention. That day was a surreal and amazing experience. It’s a treasured memory and I’m so thankful for it, along with the incredible body of work Daniel left behind. The world seemed a little less wicked with Daniel in it… He will be missed but never forgotten.

— John Cafiero, Sept. 12, 2019

In loving memory of ‘the voice of hope’ the late great Daniel Johnston.


Apr 13 2019

New “What’s In My Bag?” episode with legendary radio personality Dr. Demento and producer, director & Osaka Popstar vocalist John Cafiero! See what the “Dr. Demento Covered in Punk” collaborators found shopping at Amoeba Hollywood… punk classics, film soundtracks, and comedy albums on just about every format from CD to 78 record! What do they pick? What stories do they tell? How do Don Rickles & Tommy Ramone fit in to this?

Click the Amoeba logo, CLICK HERE or click the image above to watch the episode online now.


Apr 12 2019


This special split maxi-single celebrates the 40th anniversary of the #1 most requested song of all-time on the infamous Dr. Demento Show… the hit novelty classic “Fish Heads”! Features the all-new punk-pop cover version by NYC’s Osaka Popstar (the first single from the #1 Billboard charting album “Dr. Demento Covered in Punk”—out now) teamed with the original 1978 version that inspired it, as performed by comedy-music cult icons Barnes & Barnes—back on vinyl for the first time since the 1980s! Plus two exclusive bonus tracks!

Featuring front cover art by Stephen Blickenstaff and back cover illustrations by Sam Fout, the 10-inch novelty cut of this special 12-inch vinyl creates a 2-inch “fish” lip at the start of the disc. Pressed on neon pink vinyl in an edition limited to 1,500 pcs WORLDWIDE.

For a list of participating stores near you, visit

Side 1: Osaka Popstar

1.) “Fish Heads” (from the album “Dr. Demento Covered in Punk”)
2.) “Fish Heads” (Instrumental) Previously unreleased “Bubble Mix”

Side 2: Barnes & Barnes

1.) “Fish Heads” (From the 1980 LP “Voobaha”)
2.) “High School Gym” by Barnes & Barnes w/ Sulu (Non-Album Bonus Track).
The B-Side from the 1978 “Fish Heads” 45 rpm single!

Click the logos below for recent interviews with Osaka Popstar’s John Cafiero for insight on the animated “Fish Heads” music video, “Dr. Demento Covered in Punk”, future projects, upcoming releases from Osaka Popstar and more.



Oct 09 2018

Demented Punk serves up a heaping platter of FISH HEADS in the all-new, fully animated music video from the #1 Billboard charting, punk-rock comedy hybrid, DR. DEMENTO COVERED IN PUNK.

The all-new animated music video from the album brings to life OSAKA POPSTAR’s punk-pop cover version of the #1 most requested song of all-time on the Dr. Demento Show, Barnes and Barnes’ surreal novelty hit FISH HEADS. While the original song celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, it’s now reimagined for the 21st century in a propulsive, celebratory, and near-anthemic version. The new animated video is ripe with pop culture references and influences ranging from sugar-coated breakfast cereals, the Twilight Zone, Queen, and Captain Beefheart’s “Trout Mask Replica” to name a few. The video also includes appearances from Dr. Demento, Barnes and Barnes, and an homage to actor Bill Paxton (“Aliens”, “Weird Science”) who starred in, and directed, the original FISH HEADS live-action music video which debuted in 1980.

Art Barnes (aka Bill Mumy of the TV sci-fi classic “Lost in Space”) had this to say of the demented-punk rendition: “Osaka Popstar’s new animated video and rockin’ version of ‘Fish Heads’ is Bitchin’, Boss, Bodacious and Bold! I dig it Bigly. I can’t think of anyone who could’ve done as great a job! Uhh… well… maybe one band! Heh… YEAH!!”

Like Paxton before him, DR. DEMENTO COVERED IN PUNK producer, and OSAKA POPSTAR vocalist, John Cafiero directed the new music video and stars—albeit the latter in cartoon form. A former animator himself, Cafiero’s team of collaborators on the short consisted of illustrator/animator Sam Fout (who’s resume includes LucasFilm, Warner Bros, Hanna-Barbera) and Todd Cronin (of the appropriately named Fishtoonz Animation). The music video even opens like a mini TV show, set to the DR. DEMENTO COVERED IN PUNK theme song heard on the album (also performed by OSAKA POPSTAR), and manages to bring to life a variety of incredible artwork from the impressive album packaging. Look for a cameo by the album cover painting by iconic illustrator Drew Friedman (Entertainment Weekly, Time Magazine, Rolling Stone), as well as contributions by Topps trading card artist Neil Camera, and illustrator Stephen Blickenstaff (The Cramps) who’s giant fish head from the back cover of the album makes a key cameo appearance.

The new FISH HEADS animated music video can be seen in its entirety now at the Demented Punk YouTube channel.

FISH HEADS T-Shirts, enamel pins, totes, and lots more, including an exclusive limited edition variant vinyl pressing of the album are available now at the Demented Punk online store.

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