"One Model Nation" is a graphic novel and music project that started as a film script. Originally envisioned by Courtney Taylor-Taylor of the Dandy Warhols and Donovan Leitch, who did much of the historical research, the script was written by Taylor-Taylor and the resulting graphic novel illustrated by Jim Rugg. After an initial paperback appearance in 2009, a hardback edition is being released with a related album by fictional German band, One Model Nation.
One Model Nation is an interesting project that combines historical fiction in graphic novel form with music made by an imaginary band that appears in a growing body of music videos.
One Model Nation - Animatic
It's Kraftwerk meets the Baader-Meinhof Group with One Model Nation as an electronic band in fascist wear crossing paths with members of the armed revolutionary group Baader-Meinhof in 1977 Germany. To some degree they represent Courtney Taylor-Taylor's stance towards revolutionary politics revealed in a brief essay included in the hardback edition. Style is all important, music is everything, politics are to be kept at a distance.
In a political sense, Baader-Meinhof's role in this narrative could have as easily been played by space aliens or American hobos from the 1930's.
That said, Jim Rugg's a great illustrator. The story of the graphic novel is an interesting read. And, based on the music available so far, it should make for an enjoyable album if you like that sort of thing.
I don't know the full history of this project but something seems to have happened to throw things off schedule, given the paperback release in 2009 that none of the current promo materials mention.
At that time, researcher Donovan Leitch discussed a possible appearance of the band at Comic Con as well as an animated version and a graphic novel sequel.
The new plan is a hardcover release from Titan Books along with an album on The End Records both due January 31st, 2012. This happens to be followed by an expected release from The Dandy Warhols in February 2012. Perhaps a joint tour will ensue a la The Gorillaz?
Though I have to admit, I am a bit disappointed at seeing Baader-Meinhof being reduced to a prop, this project is pretty interesting and I like what I've heard of the music. The combination of graphic novel and album has some strength and should provide extra power for the marketing though one wonders if it will be overshadowed by a Dandy Warhols release.
For multiple videos and a download of the original script, see onemodelnation.com.
Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith maintains his freelance writing hub at Flux Research and blogs at All World Dance and This Business of Blogging. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.