How has it taken this long for “Weird Al” Yankovic to get his own comic book? He’s basically been a living cartoon since Dr. Demento first played “My Bologna” back in ‘79. And yeah, he guest edited MAD that one time, but otherwise the world has been waiting for Al’s true comic book debut for decades. Fortunately Z2 Comics has stepped in to make this dream a reality, with The Illustrated Al: The Songs of “Weird Al” Yankovic marking the comedy and music legend’s comic-writing debut.
Written by the legendary musician, master parodist, and multiple Top 40 charting artist himself, The Illustrated Al features interpretations of almost two dozen Al classics by a bevy of comic book greats. Artists include Peter Bagge (Hate), Michael Kupperman (Tales Designed to Thrizzle), Hilary Barta (Plastic Man), Bill Plympton (Your Face), Johnny Sampson (MAD Magazine), and several more. Available in both softcover and hardcover editions, along with a seperate oversized hardcover, The Illustrated Al features cover art from Drew Friedman and Mike and Laura Allred, and a foreword by legendary stand-up (and UHF guest star) Emo Phillips. The deluxe editions also include a pack of collector’s cards with art from Danny Hellman, and an exclusive three-piece art print from Transformers and Star Trek artist Jesse Philips. And for the hardest of Al hardcores, there’s also a Super Deluxe Edition, which includes books signed by Al himself, as well as an official “Weird Al” mini-accordion.
In Z2’s press release, the always humble “Weird Al” notes that “It’s such an incredible honor to see my song lyrics brought to life by some of my all-time favorite cartoonists and illustrators. I’ve actually been playing the long game—the only reason I spent four decades in the music business is so that one day I could have my very own graphic novel.”
As a lifelong fan of Al (UHF was literally the first movie I ever owned on VHS), it’s a personal honor to debut Jesse Philips’ art print from The Illustrated Al exclusively here at Paste. As you can see, it retains Philips’ personal style while referencing 40 years of “Weird Al” history, while also hinting at the hog dog and accordion-filled sci-fi film the world deserves.
The Illustrated Al: The Songs of “Weird Al” Yankovic will be released by Z2 Comics later this year. Keep an eye on Z2’s website for ordering information. In the meantime, and to whet your appetite, here’s a look at Mike and Laura Allred’s cover art, which should be a treat for anybody who’s loved their works on comics like Madman, X-Statix, or Silver Surfer.