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Almanac cover 300dpi-1

Front Cover Art

The Gorillaz Almanac is a Gorillaz graphic novel published by Z2 Comics in 2020 that features 210 full-colour pages of a variety of content regarding the virtual band and its universe, including various comic strips, self-contained short stories, interviews, playlists, recipes, games and activities, trivia, old and new artwork, fan cosplay, and more. It is Gorillaz first full fledged book since Rise of the Ogre's release in 2006, and is also a spiritual successor to the band's 2017 single issue magazine G Magazine. According to the Z2 comics store, the hardcover book "boasts exclusive new artwork, the first-ever comic strip starring 2D and Murdoc, plus “puzzles, games and a raft of special guest appearances from Gorillaz collaborators past and present.”[1] Hewlett himself describes Gorillaz Almanac 2020 as being "Private Eye meets Monty Python, Mad magazine and 2000 AD – funny stories, mad shit, artwork from all our campaigns…even a comic strip, which I haven’t done in a very long time. It was meant to be an annual, but 2020, what a fucking year; we thought we’d make it a collection, a reflection of what’s happened recently as well."[2]

The Almanac was announced and made available for pre-order on 27 May 2020 and released on 10 December 2020, after a few delays that occurred due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contents[]

Almanac Page

Revealed page from Almanac

Meet Gorillaz[]

A quick recap for anyone who’s been living in an underground bunker.

Roadie Reveals All[]

Hit the road with one of the few surviving Gorillaz roadies.

Noodle’s Slaylists[]

Noodle shares her go to tracks for going medieval on bad guys.

Comic: Wish You Were Here[]

2D’s been hitting the whale soup and it’s gone right to his head.

How 2D Do You Do?[]

2D hooks up with Gorillaz collaborators in a series of very repetitive quick fire interviews

Doublecross Boulevard[]

Murdoc once wrote a movie script - and we found it. Buckle up.

Smash Hitz[]

Murdoc, 2D, Russ, and Noodle go crate digging

The Chronicles of Noodle[]

And so begins the epic saga of Noodle versus demon.

2020: A Space Oddity[]

Take a trip in Gorillaz’ souped up interstellar Winnebago.

Little Drummer Boy[]

Russel Hobbs reveals the story of his childhood. And it’s intense.

Russel Hobbs; Chilli Sauce Can Save The World[]

A (slightly wired) Russel on the healing power of heat.

Twenty Years From Now Now[]

2D discusses his debut art exhibition with Russel.

Russ Rustles Up![]

Shake and bake a batch of tasty cookies.

20 Years of Gorillaz[]

A visual odyssey through two decades of Gorillaz.

Kong Studios[]

Some stuff you possibly didn’t know about Gorillaz’ HQ.

Dear Gorillaz...[]

You wrote, Gorillaz answered.

The Devil’s Due[]

An exclusive extract from Murdoc’s hell-raising memoirs.

A to Z of 2020[]

A look back at a strange year.

Today Comes Tomorrow[]

Noodle has the scoop on 2021.

Healing The World[]

All about Murdoc’s philanthropy...or is it?

Movies That Moved Me[]

Russ reveals his favourite films. Bring popcorn.

Sudoku Is So Cool[]

Let Noodle train your brain.

Gorillaz Masks[]

Fool factual recognition cameras with these life-like Gorillaz masks.

Wazzup?[]

Eavesdrop on Gorillaz’ private group chat.

Short Stories With 2D[]

2D totally misread the brief, and, well, you’ll see.

Ye Olde Gorillaz Pub Quiz[]

How much do you really know about the world’s favourite virtual band?

G Classifieds[]

Buy, sell, find love, eradicate that zombie infestation. It’s all here.

Credits[]

  • Artwork by: J.C. Hewlett
  • Written by: Ed Caruana & Thomas O'Malley
  • Contributions from: Remi Kabaka Jr.
  • Design and Layout: Stars Redmond and Siobhan Battye
  • With assistance from: George Rutledge & Tom Cornfoot
  • Guest Illustration by: Matt Minoura
  • With Thanks To: Josh Frankel, Sridhar Reddy, Stuart Lowbridge, and Joe Zadeh. Aida Muluneh, Bernard Benet, Crowns & Owls, Luis Kramer, and Micaiah Carter.
  • Published by: Z2 Comics
  • Gorillaz are managed by Eleven Mgmt and the spirit.
  • Eleven Management are: Niamh Byrne, Régine Moylett, Tanyel Vahdettin, Suzi Grossman, Stars Redmond, Gaby Power, Claire O’Brien, Selena Dion, Astrit Ferguson and Blli John.
  • Gorillaz are co-created by: Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett

Editions[]

There are currently three different versions of the book that can be ordered through the Z2 Comics website: Standard, Deluxe, and Super Deluxe The contents of the three editions are listed below:

Standard Edition[]

Gorillaz Almanac (Deluxe)

Deluxe Edition[]

  • Hardcover
  • 10x15 inches
  • 210+ Pages
  • A slipcase for almanac
  • Season 1 of Song Machine on CD
  • Four art prints and sticker sheet and will be signed by Murdoc, Russel, Noodle and 2D (in that order and at Murdoc's request, he is very persuasive).
Gorillaz Almanac Special Edition (Super Deluxe) Stash Tin

Super Deluxe Edition[]

  • Hardcover
  • 10x15 inches
  • 210+ Pages
  • A slipcase for almanac
  • Stash tin to keep everything including together
  • Season 1 of Song Machine on CD
  • A unique packaging (which we are currently bending the laws of printing science to design) signed by Jamie Hewlett!

Reception[]

Gorillaz Almanac received generally positive reviews from critics, most of whom noted it being specifically catered towards Gorillaz fans. In a review of Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez from Louder Than War, Gorillaz Almanac’s storytelling is compared to that of the storytelling of Demon Days & Plastic Beach. A positive review of Gorillaz Almanac by Screen Rants spoke highly of the artwork and the variety in content, concluding that  "There’s something here for everyone, if you enjoy madcap satirical carnage at its finest.". PopcultHQ praised the writing and artwork while making note of a lack of structure and organization, while Impulse Gamer spoke highly of the book and made note of it’s distinct appeal to superfans of the band.

Trivia[]

  • The Gorillaz Store page for the Gorillaz Almanac originally stated that the Season 1 Song Machine CD consisted of 10 tracks; this listing has since been removed.
  • The Z2 Comics page originally stated that Gorillaz Almanac contained 120 pages, but it has since been said by press to have 220 pages.
  • A review of season one of Song Machine by Louder Than War compares the storytelling in Gorillaz Almanac to the storytelling of Demon Days and Plastic Beach.
  • The "2020" sign shown on the cover can be seen in the garage in the beginning of The Valley of The Pagans.
  • It was originally set for release in October, but was delayed a month due to COVID-19 shipping delays.
  • Originally description said "including the first ever strip to star 2D, Noodle, Murdoc Niccals and Russel Hobbs". This has been changed in early november to "including a mini-comic strip starring 2D and Murdoc Niccals" possibly implying that Russel and Noodle will not appear in the comic. They do not appear in the main comic strip in Gorillaz Almanac, but they do appear in Peanuts parody comic strips called GNuts.
  • It's about the same size as Rise of the Ogre, except for the deluxe version of the Almanac, which is much bigger.
  • Before Gorillaz Almanac, Jamie Hewlett originally made an almanac for Tank Girl in the early 90s.
  • As with the art in 2-D's journal for The Now Now, the artwork from 2-D's art exhibition is drawn by Damon Albarn himself.
  • Z2 Comics have also created a graphic novel for Albarn's Blur bandmate and Gorillaz collaborator Graham Coxon.
  • The Gorillaz Almanac also features additional contributions from the band's drummer and producer Remi Kabaka Jr..
  • Gorillaz Almanac also features new Gorillaz artwork that was not drawn by Jamie Hewlett, making this one of the only Gorillaz release to do so.

References[]

  1. Kreps, Daniel. "Gorillaz Celebrate 20-Year Visual History With Expansive ‘Almanac’ Book". RollingStone.com. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  2. Bolger, Thomas (9 November 2020). "Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head". PORT Magazine.
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