It’s Cyber Monday so let’s celebrate by talking about a techno/comics crossover that involves one of the biggest names ever in club culture: Paul Oakenfold.
Oakenfold is, as they say, a legend. He’s the guy who practically invented that “boom shikka shikka shikka….whoooooosh” break you hear all the time. He’s also one of the DJs who first went over to Ibiza and discovered that beats, beaches and, well, maybe a few chemical ingestions, made for a fun time. EDM wouldn’t be the same without his seminal club tunes and remixes for everyone from Britney Spears to U2 (The Lemon remix is a particular favorite around Stately Beat Manor.) He’s played every where in the world and contributed to some of your favorite soundtracks.
But now Oakenfold is joining the world of graphic novels with The Wonderful World of Perfecto: With Paul Oakenfold and Friends, which drops
next week on Dec. 12. It’s a graphic memoir about his epic musical journey, from drinking absinthe with Hunter S. Thompson to helping invent club culture. Published by Z2, it features art by Chris Hunt (Carver), Tyler Boss (4 Kids Walk Into a Bank), Koren Shadmi (The Abbadon) and Ian McGinty (Welcome to Showside.)
Best of all, it comes with a soundtrack created by Oakenfold specially for the graphic novel.
How does a turntable master make the switch to comics? I had a chance to find out a bit a few weeks ago when Oakenfold was in town to spin at Cielo, a Meatpacking District hot spot. Z2 publisher Josh Frankel invited me to hang out with Oakenfold and Shadmi before the gig and chat a bit about the book.
It turns out Oakenfold is a personable chap who also drops anecdotes that begin “We were flying in a private plane over the Andes after a gig in Buenos Aires when we started to lose altitude.” He was frank about learning more about comics in preparation for the GN. “My son is into them, and he’s been taking me to all the comics shops,” in their native London, he told me. He’s jumped on his new sideline with relish though, reading as many comics as his son can recommend.
After we chatted I got to tag along to the show, and a place where Oakenfold is a lot more recognizable–behind the turntables. It was four hours of sweaty dancing, hand waving and titanic beats, as Oakenfold had the packed house in the palm of his hand. Truly a night to remember.
The graphic novel itself covers all the above, with a range of trippy art styles, and a cover by WOODnLeG, the working name of art duo Darren Le Gallo and Chandler Wood, multi media artists who are working on their own graphic novel, Tonight There’s Gonna Be A Jailbreak.
The World of Perfecto is just the latest music-themed graphic novel from Z2. They’ve shifted focus over the last year to work with musical acts to put together projects which contain both original soundtracks and comics memoirs or pieces which compliment the music, including Murder Ballads, with The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach and, I’m told, many more projects in the works. As Rob Salkowitz pointed out at Forbes, Z2 isn’t the only publisher to get into the comics/music game, as Marvel is working with The Black Eyed Peas.
Like any proper comics creator, Oakenfold will be touring to promote the book with three comic shop signings starting next Wednesday in London. The tour is sponsored by Elie Hirschfeld and comes with a cool tour poster by Tyler Boss.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.