Moonhead and the Music Machine is a wild title, but we like them strange in comics, however the title doesn't really prepare you for the even wilder premise and the highly imaginative artwork on this book now available from Nobrow by Andrew Rae. I had a gander of it at Book Fair in New York and found myself just standing there for nearly 20 minutes looking at it, page after page. It has the Nobrow-standard excellent craftsmanship with lush endpapers (here depicting Moonhead cavorting while playing a guitar), and the interiors have that appealing balance between bande dessinee style and the best tightly controlled and evocative works of the indie comics publishing scene in the US. Nobrow's an international company these days and they've got a handle on that fruitful balance in offerings.
Joey Moonhead's deadpan acceptance and difficulty at having a hovering moon for a head takes narrative directions that are not only amusing but leave you pausing, just considering the spectacle of it and conceiving of what that kind of life would be like.
Nobrow describes the book thus:
Life is a peach when you have a moon for a head. Your head can wander out of the atmosphere into galactic reveries, drift blissfully across star specked plains, roll lazily into jungles with undiscovered artefacts or soar closer than Icarus to the sun's seething glare. Snap! Back to reality – the world of a teenage boy is a much crueler place, the taunt "crater-face" is a very literal insult and the cool kids have an unremitting supply of abuse. And so, as the law of divine providence state, when the school talent contest takes its yearly turn, it is the role of the outcast to take part. Thus, Joey Moonhead begins a stellar mission to create a music machine that rivals all those in existence.
An imaginative and visually poetic take on the stock American high school drama, Moonhead is a subtle blend between Wayne's World and Ovid's Metamorphoses. Andrew Rae's graphic novel is enriching and powerfully illustrated.
Here's our preview of Rae's hardback graphic novel odyssey: