Books

“Weird Al” Yankovic debuts his very own graphic novel

“Weird Al” Yankovic has collaborated with Z2 Comics for his very first graphic novel The Illustrated Al: The Songs Of “Weird Al” Yankovic, which features illustrated artist impressions of over 20 of his songs.

“Weird Al” Yankovic is an iconic cultural phenomenon, achieving fame in 1979 with his My Bologna parody of The Knack’s My Sharona, he has gone on to sell over 12 million albums worldwide.

At the tail end of the 80s when the world was coming down from a wave of synth, and dance-pop music, courtesy of Madonna and Prince, “Weird Al”  burst onto the screens and the airwaves with I’m Fat, a parody of Michael Jackson’s number one hit I’m Bad, which reached 11 on the charts in Australia, number 3 in New Zealand, and placed 99 on the US’s Billboard top 200.

weird al graphic novel
Credit: Z2comics

What does that say about our sense of humour on this side of the equator? It took the States a while to catch on to his personal brand, with Mandatory Fun, Yankovic’s 2014 album release, being the first comedy album in history to debut at number one on Billboard’s Top 200.

If you are a fan of “Weird Al”, and it appears there may be a lot of us, there is something new to look forward to, “Weird Al’s” very own graphic novel.

Collaborating with Z2 Comic’s The Illustrated Al: The Songs of “Weird Al” Yankovic has an impressive lineup of collaborators, with artists, Mike and Laura Allred  (Madman, The X-Cellent), Drew Friedman (Mad Magazine), Peter Bagge (Hate), alongside a slew of other eye-popping creatives. There is also a foreword from comedian Emo Philips, who is currently opening for Yankovic on his current tour through North America.

Yankovic has thrown in many other goodies, including a wax pack of collector’s cards, a three-piece art print set from Jesse Philips, a vinyl slipmat, drink coasters, and a “Weird Al” Yankovic branded mini-accordion.

 

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“It’s such an incredible honour to see my song lyrics brought to life by some of my all-time favourite cartoonists and illustrators,” Yankovic said in a recent chat statement via Pitchfork.

“I’ve actually been playing the long game – the only reason I spent four decades in the music business is so that one day I could have my very own graphic novel.”

“I don’t remember a time in my life before ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic and, frankly, I don’t want to. His music, lyrics, artistry, and humor have been a constant influence in my career,” project editor and Z2 Comics chief business officer Josh Bernstein noted.

“Having Z2 assemble this all-star roster of the greatest living cartoonists to collaborate with Weird Al has been a dream come true. I hope both new and long-time Al-fanatics appreciate the love, care, and insane art that is going into this project. As always, we dare to be stupid.”

Yankovic is also featured in the upcoming Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, a new biopic directed by Eric Appel, starring Daniel Radcliffe, who will play the role of Weird Al, while Evan Rachel Wood, Rainn Wilson, and Julianne Nicholson are also set to star.