Home Music Music Lists

Exclusive Preview: Courtney Taylor-Taylor’s ‘One Model Nation’

Get a sneak peek of the Dandy Warhols frontman’s graphic novel

dandy warhols graphic

One Model Nation © 2009-2012 Courtney Taylor-Taylor.

Ladies and gentlemen . . . One Model Nation! This radical Krautrock-style band first existed in the minds of Dandy Warhols frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor and his friend, the actor Donovan Leitch. Inspired by the strange saga of the Baader-Meinhof Group and the guerrilla warfare waged by the Red Army Faction in Germany in the Seventies, the two created a fictional German band and the story of their embroilment in the movement. Written by Taylor-Taylor with illustrations by Jim Rugg (Street Angel), the graphic novel One Model Nation is being released concurrently with music by the "band." You can stream "Mission to Mars," a track by the fictional One Model Nation, below.   

By James Sullivan

Click here to listen to One Model Nation's "Mission to Mars"

dandy warhols graphic

One Model Nation © 2009-2012 Courtney Taylor-Taylor.

(no title)

Originally intended as a screenplay, One Model Nation became the basis for a graphic novel when Taylor-Taylor showed the text to Mike Allred, the comic book artist who featured the Dandy Warhols in Red Rocket 7, his graphic novel about rock & roll history. When Allred's schedule filled up, he introduced the singer to comics artist Jim Rugg. "I had seen Street Angel, which is one of the best-looking books ever, and then Afrodisiac had a super-extreme Seventies thing," says Taylor-Taylor. It was a good fit.   

dandy warhols graphic

One Model Nation © 2009-2012 Courtney Taylor-Taylor.

(no title)

While touring with the Dandys in Germany, Taylor-Taylor spoke with anyone he met who was old enough to have lived through the turbulent Baader-Meinhof era. A college professor told him about a campus concert that turned into "a Kent State thing," which inspired part of the story. Karl Batos of Kraftwerk convinced Taylor-Taylor to plow ahead with his idea to completely fictionalize the era: "He assured me that my 14-year-old jerkoff fantasy of what was going on back then would be far more interesting than it really was. Since all I really wanted was to have Star Wars set in the Seventies Berlin art scene, I took him at face value and began writing and letting Donovan unearth all the crazy historical 'wow' moments while I wove them in."

dandy warhols graphic

One Model Nation © 2009-2012 Courtney Taylor-Taylor.

(no title)

The historical setting gave Taylor-Taylor plenty of opportunity to think about his own heritage. "One side is all Dutch, citizens of Amsterdam until the late 1800s, so maybe that's why I love Amsterdam so much," he says. "The other side is English, and my great-grandfather was a Portland cop from the late 1800s to the 1920s. He was a notoriously terrible person, so maybe that's why I've got a dark cloud that follows me around." 

dandy warhols graphic

One Model Nation © 2009-2012 Courtney Taylor-Taylor.

(no title)

The One Model Nation album, Totalwerks Vol. 1: 1969-1977, was mostly created by Leitch, Jon Fell (who was the book's colorist) and Elliott Barnes, the Dandy Warhols' guitar technician and another of Taylor-Taylor's close friends. Fell inspired one of the characters in the book and Barnes was the model for the key figure Sebastian. Taylor-Taylor appears on one track, "Transmission." "I pretty much let them go and popped down to bang on bike frames and an antique iron chair," he says, "whenever I wasn't eating Donovan's vat of coq au vin and drinking old French wines."

Show Comments