Comic Book Review – One Model Nation

Looking for something different and off the beaten path? See why Bobby recommends One Model Nation.


There are books we all get really excited for, and there are books we see and forget about. Sometimes books can be incredibly influential if you really sit down and read them. Some of my favorite graphic novels were suggested to me by close friends rather than from hollow advertisements that have no meaning or fail to give any idea about the book. Staying on that point, I feel the same way about art. I much prefer understated artists over the immensely commercialized ones. So sometimes you come across a book that reflects both an influential story and understated artwork, and they change the way you look at things. One Model Nation did exactly that.

Unassumingly going off of the success of other comics written by musicians, Courtney Taylor-Taylor from The Dandy Warhols creates what feels to be an accurate feeling of musicians living in the ’70s and trying to produce original sound. The book is set in 1977 and follows a German band by the same name as they are dealing with the violent nature of music fans of that period. Sabastian, the lead singer of the band, struggles to find the scope in which his music should reach, as well as deals with the music scene’s preference towards violence and chaos.

The writing style of Courtney Taylor-Taylor had me intrigued right from the beginning and I couldn’t put the book down until the very last page. I found myself imagining what it must have been like to be a striving musician in those trying times and how difficult it must have been to stay focused on your dream. Initially, this could have been looked at as another person in the music industry trying to break into the world of comics. But after reading just a few pages, it felt more like a story that Taylor just needed to tell. One that he himself was influenced by, and I quickly began to share that impact. Some people say it’s easy to be a musician but it can’t be easy to hear gunshots at your show and keep playing. It can’t be easy to be associated with terrorists when you’re just trying to put your brand of sound into the world. It couldn’t have been easy to know that many of your audience members were cold-blooded murderers and if you stop playing, you are risking your life. I felt the fear and grittiness of it when reading but nothing could prepare me for the ending.

Jim Rugg did the art for this novel and it’s good he did. The simplistic style goes a long way to reveal the darkness in not just the subject matter, but some of the characters themselves. Rugg has done art in Dr. Horrible, The Guild, and Fables but none are as deep and full of emotion as the art in One Model Nation. He’s also worked with Mike Allred in the past on Madman comics. This is important to mention because Allread was on of the producers on this book. He tried early on to get this comic into print. He voices his strong opinion on the matter in his foreword at the beginning of this graphic novel and tells of the passionate journey you have ahead of you. He definitely wasn’t lying because I loved this venture into an unknown world of political refuge and violent youth.

For opening my eyes, I give this book 4 out of 5 Nerdskulls.

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I'm a man of tomorrow still holding onto the joys of yesterday. I miss Nick cartoons, and Power Rangers but I cant get enough of the Time Lords, and Serial Killers we have now. My many distractions include computers, movies, comics, and I like to imagine my life story would be scored with a mixture of Death Cab, A3, and a lot of Kid Cudi. We've entered the Geekological Revolution. A time of Vulcan Death Grips, drinks with friends on Tatooine, and attempting to build a freeze ray. Things have changed, muscle headed bullies. The Nerds rule the world now, and we reign SUPREME!