‘Weird Al’ Talks Graphic Novel Inspired By His Music & Odds Of A Sequel To His Zany Roku Biopic

“Weird Al” Jankovic isn’t entirely sure what happens next.

The parody song guru and accordion maestro has just enjoyed a historic year. International concerts, his tours, Roku’s hilariously zany biopic on his channel (Daniel Radcliffe plays a curly-haired musician), and graphics inspired by his iconic musical work. novel.

“This year is more of a question mark,” Yankovic tells me on Zoom. “Things tend to fall on my lap. Because you never know where your life will go.”

Our virtual catch-up has to do with graphic novel publishing. The Illustrated Al: The Songs of “Weird Al” Yankovic.

Now published by Z2 Comics, the book features Bill Plimpton, Aaron Augenbrick, Peter Budge, Steve Chunks, Danny Hellman, Felipe Sobreiro, Gideon Kendall, Michael Kupperman, Wes Hargis and more. Features original artwork from As the title suggests, each artist was assigned a different song in the eclectic “Weird Al” catalog, ranging from mainstream hits to lesser-known tunes.

Z2 co-founder and book editor Josh Bernstein explains: “Real al fans know this is really good stuff. Sunny fans know the parody, but real fans know the deep cut and it’s really suited to the medium visually.” increase.”

“We were able to get dozens of people involved in this project, including some of the best illustrators and comic artists in the world,” adds Yankovic. “So I’m very pleased with the people who signed on for this and the work they’ve done.”

Comedian Emo Phillips has kindly provided a raucous preface with one of the most impressive run-on sentences I’ve ever seen.

“He would open up for me on tour, so he would always bring things back to the back lounge where I lived and say, ‘Can I do this? Can I say this?'” Yankovic recalled. increase. “[I was like] “Yeah emo. Whatever you want to write is fine! He’s always tweaking it and put a lot of time and care into it and wanted to make sure every comment and semicolon was correct.” .”

“He was so hands-on that I got a lot of calls,” Bernstein repeats. “I am with my friends and [then Emo would call] …it really starts the book on the right tone. ”

Check out the three dedicated pages below.drawn by trash can kids Veteran Brent Engstrom sang Yankovic’s 1984 track “Mr. Popeil,” a B-52-esque ode to late informer legend Ron Popeil.

Moving forward, Yankovic is about to embark on another worldwide tour that will take him and his band to Hawaii and Europe for the first time (click here for dates). And like Bernstein alluded to above, the accordion demigod is now focused on his original compositions.

“Parody songs have been off my radar for a while,” Yankovic explains. “It’s not that I’m done, nor that I’ll never do it again. But that’s not my focus right now. I’m taking time off from it and trying to do other things like movies and this book.” Maybe I’ll come back to it.It’s certainly not off the table, but it’s not laser-focused on the Billboard charts the way it’s been most of my adult life.”

Long-time fans probably know that parody tracks such as the “Live and Let Die” parody (the avowed vegetarian Paul McCartney disapproved of “Chicken Pot Pie”) and Prince’s songs were culturally significant. You’ll notice that you’ve never really entered the zeitgeist. The latter artist in particular became the Yankovic proverbial Moby Dick. “I had a lot of ideas for Prince, but he wasn’t into it. And now, sadly, it’s too late.”

Unsurprisingly, our conversation eventually turns to the Roku biopic, which is more of an Oscar-winning biopic genre than a truly factual account of Yankovic’s life. It works as a farce (zombie of course) is included in the card.

“Director Eric Appel pitched me that at the Critics’ Choice Awards,” reveals the musician. “So it might happen, you never know.”

Even if the follow-up doesn’t happen, it’s star-studded in an alternate timeline where Michael Jackson rips off “Eat It” and Madonna (Evan Rachel Wood) takes over Pablo Escobar’s South American drug empire. When asked how the celebrity-filled pool scene came together, Yankovic says he simply called a bunch of his friends on the annual Christmas card mailing list.

“I would put characters on one list and celebrities on the other and draw a line between the two lists and figure out who was going to play what,” he recalls of the casting process. “I emailed everyone and almost everyone said yes. [because they were] go out of town. ”

The life of “Weird Al” may not be an Amish paradise, but it is a paradise nonetheless.

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