Dandy Warhols’ frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor sets his graphic novel One Model Nation — also the name of the fictitious electronic/Kraftwerk-style band at the center of the story — in late ’70s Berlin. Originally intended as a screenplay, Taylor-Taylor hooked up with Jim Rugg of Afrodisaic and Street Angel fame to illustrate his historical fiction tale, inspired by the guerrilla mayhem connected to real-life organization, the Baader-Meinhof Group. The titular band becomes unwittingly embroiled in the hunt for the underground faction, making them public enemy number one.
Titan Books has published a new hardcover reissue of One Model Nation, complete with behind the scenes sketches and storyboards, a historical background, and loads of commentary — including from Taylor-Taylor himself. There’s a foreword written by Red Rocket 7 creator Michael Allred — who also drew the cameo of a certain ’70s music god. Pre-order a copy of One Model Nation over here (it hits stands January 31). If you want to check out the musical accompaniment that goes with it, behold the skinny tie greatness of Totalwerks Vol. 1.
In anticipation of One Model Nation‘s release, we wanted to dig into Courtney’s mind grapes a little further to uncover the inspirations of his graphic novel roots. He shared some of his favorite titles with us past the break. Check them out, and let him know what you think in the comments below.
I’m a 70’s comic kid. Thor. Micronauts. Michael Golden. Really beautiful stuff. Amazingly rich texture. As in that old cheap brown comic paper and all that ink and Zip-A-Tone soaking in. Wow. In that restricted space my idea of still life storytelling was formed.
But in the mid ’90s, the graphic novel was king. Back then I was doing all my graphic design with Steven Birch in a shared space with Matt Wagner. Grendel seemed like a shot heard round the world. I hadn’t seen that non-linear style page layout before, and then, of course it was really dark and cool and what everyone had been waiting for. There were tons of new comics lying around because Steven was doing a lot of work for the Oni Press guys. We have a lot of great comic culture in Portland. I guess in a fairly large way from Dark Horse Comics being here, of course.
But then there’s Matt Groening and the Pander Bros. too. The Pander Brothers’ issues of Batman: The Dark Knight are some of my favorite modern comics. They rock super hard. That’s what I loved about Grendel too. They also did the early issues of Grendel: The Series.
On a different note, Jon Fell colored some of Johnny Quest for Dark Horse Comics back in the ’90s, and I really like those as well if you can find them. Jon is the character Ralf in One Model Nation, and he colored it as well.
Mike Allred’s Red Rocket 7 is my favorite. Since Micronauts. In graphic novel form it is my all-time favorite graphic novel hands down. Read it now. The story is phenomenal and it’s also historical fiction. Fictional glam rock history starting with Elvis, and the last of an alien race. C’mon right? Fugging awesome.
— Courtney Taylor-Taylor