One Model Nation

one model nation trade paperback titan books
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10

Interesting concept, nice presentation

Needs some background on the RAF, more distinguishing features for the characters

Comic Info

Comic Name: One Model Nation

Publisher: Titan Books/Image Comics

Writer: Courtney Taylor-Taylor

Artist: Jim Rugg

Release Date:  Titan Books (2011)/Image Comics (2009)

one model nation original trade paperback image

Image Edition

It is Germany in 1977, and a revolution is underway.  As the revolution grows, one band is held up as a model for what the revolutionists want…whether the band likes it or not.  One Model Nation is caught in the crossfire of a war they didn’t create and could be destroyed while leading an army of followers that see them as everything for which they stand.

Written by Courtney Taylor-Taylor of the Dandy Warhols and illustrated by Jim Rugg, One Graphic Nation took a long time to make it to the shelves.  Taylor-Taylor began working on it years ago with the help of Donavan Leitch and Mike Allred and did publish it with Image Comics.  Now One Model Nation is back (with a companion CD also being released) in a nice collective hardback with bonus images by Titan Books.

The story of One Model Nation takes the fictious band and puts them in the middle of the attacks by the very real RAF (Red Faction Army).  Throughout the story, the RAF use One Model Nation’s music and style as their voice despite the fact that One Model Nation just wants to play music.  This leads to turmoil among the band and threats of breaking up as they become targets of the police and political leaders.

one model nation original artwork jim rugg

Jim Rugg Artwork

If you have no background in RAF this is a bit of a difficult read.  The story really hinges on known a little bit about this communist terrorist group also known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang or various versions of that title.  I really didn’t know much about them or their beliefs and they are used in the comic mostly as a plot device since timelines for One Model Nation don’t really match-up with the activities of the RAF in reality.  With this in mind, I kind of wonder why Taylor-Taylor chose a real group and didn’t just make up a fake group based on the RAF…allowing him even more freedom to alter the story.

I do find the art and the style of One Model Nation good, but the problem is that it is also a comic based on a group where they are all trying to look alike.  With that, I had difficulties distinguishing the main characters from each other in scenes and that made the already difficult task of determining what exactly was going on more difficult.  After I finished the book, I had to go back over parts to determine what I missed.  That is not a necessary fulfilling aspect of a book.

One Model Nation is interesting but there is a lot I would change to make it better.  Maybe a page explaining the RAF to younger readers or readers like me who just missed the boat on the movement would help.  A page showing all the main characters with a one line background also would have helped clarify the story or at least give a reference to flip back to when you are a bit confused.  The nice design and layout of the book would have benefited from these little tweaks, but that doesn’t mean the book should be avoided.  Check out One Model Nation for an interesting read that at least challenges you to think while you are reading…unlike a lot of comics.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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