Kid Koala Turns the Page

Kid Koala Turns the Page
After small diversions like the multi-platinum Gorillaz project, Montreal DJ Kid Koala is about to release his first graphic novel, Nufonia Must Fall, with an accompanying soundtrack. The book shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who enjoyed the small comic book enclosed in Kid Koala's 2000 Ninja Tune debut, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Canadian publisher ECW approached him about the idea of a full-length graphic novel after that album's release. He says he'd never thought of doing such a large project; previously, most of his graphics were destined for school newspapers while in university. "I didn't really know where to start except that I didn't really want any kind of serious book," Koala continues. "Now the book is 344 pages, but there are hardly any words in it."

That's where the soundtrack comes in, which features Koala on piano, an instrument he hadn't really touched since he gave it up at the age of 13 for turntables. "When I was writing the book and ECW asked if I was interested in doing some music for it, I didn't really hear any kind of frantic turntable record," he ways. "The music is quite different than anything from Carpal Tunnel. It's mostly on piano and there are turntable parts, but they are all supporting parts. The beds are piano as opposed to drum breaks."

To launch the book, he's embarking on a North American tour this month that will feature a slide show and Kid Koala playing piano, with DJs P-Love and Jester on four turntables. "The venues we're playing are more intimate, and we're giving people tables and chairs so they just enjoy it without worrying about having to dance or waltz to it," he says. Kid Koala will also have a new record out in the fall, which he says will be "more sillier," like his debut tape Scratchhappyland.