“Weird Al” Yankovic is one of the most beloved entertainers of the past forty years, with multiple Grammy Awards to his name and a vast library of well-known parody and original songs. Now, as Al returns to touring with The Unfortunate Return of the Ridiculously Self-Indulgent Ill-Advised Vanity Tour, the musician is also embarking into a new frontier: comics. Z2 Comics has announced The Illustrated Al: The Songs of “Weird Al” Yankovic, a new graphic novel adapting some of Yankovic’s most iconic songs.
Here’s how Z2 Comics describes The Illustrated Al, including list of the incredible talent lined up for the book:
Written by “Weird Al” Yankovic, this career-spanning visual feast unites some of our top cartoonists and illustrators to express Al’s “Yankovisions.” The Great AL-merican Songbook features 20-plus classic Al songs interpreted by such artists as Bill Plympton (Your Face, Guard Dog), Aaron Augenblick (Superjail!, Ugly Americans), Peter Bagge (Hate), Steve Chanks (Revolver Magazine), Felipe Sobreiro (Luther Strode, Death’s Head), Gideon Kendall (Megaghost), Michael Kupperman (Tales Designed to Thrizzle, The New Yorker), Wes Hargis (My New Teacher and Me!, When I Grow Up), Ruben Bolling (Tom the Dancing Bug, Super-Fun-Pak Comix), Fred Harper (The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal), Ryan Dunlavey (Action Philosophers), R. Sikoryak (The Unquotable Trump), Jeff McClelland (The Tick), Jeff McComsey (The Fourth Man), Hilary Barta (Plastic Man), Johnny Sampson (MAD Magazine), Tom Richmond (MAD Magazine, Cracked Magazine), Bob Fingerman (Minimum Wage), and many more! The book also features cover art by Drew Friedman (MAD Magazine) and Mike & Laura Allred (Madman), as well as a custom art print set from Jesse Philips (Transformers, Star Trek), a collector’s card set by Danny Hellman (Screw, Legal Action Comics), and a foreword from legendary comic Emo Philips, who is also opening for Al on his current 133-show tour of North America, with an accompanying illustration by master MAD alumnus Sam Viviano.
As with all Z2 Comics offerings, The Illustrated Al comes in a variety of formats. In addition to a standard hardcover version, an oversized, slipcovered deluxe hardcover edition is also available, which include the previously-mentioned prints by Philips and collector cards by Hellman, as well as a vinyl slipmat and drink coasters. A Super Deluxe Edition of the book also comes signed by “Weird Al”, along with a branded mini-accordion.
In a statement announcing the book, Yankovic described bringing his songs to life in a new medium:
“It’s such an incredible honor to see my song lyrics brought to life by some of my all-time favorite cartoonists and illustrators,” Yankovic says. “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.”
Never let it be said that Yankovic isn’t willing to commit to a bit. While not strictly a comic, The Illustrated Al marks a return to “Weird Al” for artist Felipe Sobreiro, who drew The Weird A-Coloring to Al: A Psychedelic Journey Through the Life and Career of Alfred Matthew Yankovic, a “Weird Al” coloring book that released last year.
Look for all three editions of The Illustrated Al to arrive in stores in November 2022.