Never a man to do things the easy way, whether it’s recording a song that runs a full 24 hours or proceeding to embed five copies of said song on USBs in actual real-life human skulls, Flaming Lips frontman, acid casualty (if ‘casualty’ is the right word) and noted Google Maps bathtub dweller Wayne Coyne has revealed plans for his debut foray into publishing, and needless to say it’s far from the straightforward memoir you might expect from such an alt-rock institution. No, instead Coyne has written and drawn a comic book, The Sun is Sick, which will see its initial release at this weekend’s Comic-Con in San Diego before going on sale in The Flaming Lips’ official webstore this coming Monday, July 22nd. Long-time Lips followers will be in no way surprised to discover that the cover features a naked woman holding a gory eyeball against a psychedelic backdrop, given that that’s a pretty apt summation of where Coyne and the band have been at lately, i.e. always.
In a statement whose punctuation, formatting and wording will no doubt be familiar to fans of the band, the Lips camp said of the book:
WARNING!! The Sun Is Sick may be a comic book but make no mistake; this is not suitable for children and depending on what sort of person you are, it may not be suitable for some of you non-children either. If you have doubts at this moment then The Sun Is Sick is not for you. If you happen to be a LIPS fan that has enjoyed Wayne’s beautiful artwork in the past and like adult-themed comic books then by all means this instant Collector’s Item is waiting for you, but you better be quick.
Wayne’s beautiful artwork, it should be noted, often contains women in various states of undress, expelling or ingesting assorted items, fluids and/or rainbows, painted in colours familiar only to those who have seen things 99% of the world’s population have not. As this writer was joltingly reminded about two minutes into taking his then 13 year-old brother to a Flaming Lips show in 2009, Wayne’s beautiful artwork and the ideas contained therein often also make their way into the band’s stage backdrops. So if that’s not your thing, consider this a preliminary consumer awareness guide or whatever.
At least the title of the comic suggests it will be, if nothing else, thematically consistent with the Lips’ extant discography, which in the past decade alone contains titles such as “Sun Blows Up Today”, “Look… The Sun Is Rising”, “Assassination of the Sun” and “I’m A Fly In A Sunbeam (Following The Funeral Procession Of A Stranger)”.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.