One Model Nation by Courtney Taylor-Taylor with Jim Rugg: Review
One Model Nation is a story of what happens when angry youth, politics and pop culture collide. Set in 1977 Germany, the band One Model Nation find themselves becoming increasingly popular. However, also unwittingly, the public face of a terrorist movement known as RAF (Red Army Faction). The RAF is responsible for bombings, police killings and shootings. Although the band denies involvement, their clothing, friends and illegal concerts come together to create an image the press easily sell as defining the “terrorist generation.” The four members try to prove their love lies strictly in the music. But every acquaintance seems to suck them in deeper to the RAF, the infamous Baader-Meinoff Gang and the political underground.
One Model Nation review
I really enjoyed the premise of this graphic novel. The idea of a band being labelled as the face of movement has always been fascinating to me. From Elvis to My Chemical Romance, almost every generation has had a music genre, band or musician that has taken the blame for teenage rebellion. This story sums that up perfectly.
There is another great level to this story, that I was unaware of until reading the extras at the end of the novel. Some of the characters are based on real people, as are some of the historical events. The Baader-Meinoff Gang were a real terrorist gang and Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof were true life members. One of the main scenes in the graphic novel, where Ulrike frees Andreas from custody by killing his guards, is also based on true events. I was unsure of this scene on first reading but the explanation by Taylor-Taylor at the end gave me a whole new appreciation for it.
Overall I really enjoyed this evocative indie story. The illustration and colouring are emotive and beautifully done. The story is thought-provoking but I did find the characterisation of the separate band members a bit lacking. There were moments when I struggled to tell one from another. This is Courtney Taylor-Taylor (from The Dandy Warhols) first venture into graphic novels but I will most definitely be looking into the artist Jim Rugg‘s previous work.
If you like One Model Nation by Courtney Taylor Taylor you’ll love Storm by Tim Minchin, DC Turner and Tracey King