Quick Look – Kurt Cobain: The Graphic Novel for iPad

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Kurt Cobain The Graphic Novel for iPad

Kurt Cobain: The Graphic Novel is a new iPad app released this week that offers a gritty comic-book style look at the short, turbulent life of Cobain, the iconic lead singer of Nirvana.

Here’s a little of the backstory, taken from the app’s About page:

This publication started out as full-colour print book named Godspeed: The Kurt Cobain Graphic and was first published in 2003 by Omnibus Press (a division of Music Sales Limited).

Writers Barnaby Legg and Jim McCarthy constructed their story using biographical fact interwoven with references to the singers tortured self-image. The vibrant art by Flameboy captures both the subjective dreamscape and the objective reality that form the heart of this examination of a tragic musical legend.

I’ve never been a huge Nirvana fan, but this app caught my interest yesterday and I installed it, got drawn in from the first couple pages, and read through its 84 pages in one quick sitting.

Here’s a little more background on the app, courtesy of its App Store page:

This app takes Cobain’s story and plays it out as a visual depiction of his life. From the luminous colours of an idyllic childhood through the flamboyant hues of success and stardom, Cobain’s story inevitably declines into a much darker palette. The script draws from the singer’s tortured self-image as well as straightforward biographical fact so that the tone of the app fluctuates between subjective dream-state and objective reality.

Featuring exclusive artwork from Flameboy and a brilliantly constructed story by writers Barnaby Legg and Jim McCarthy, this graphic novel captures every aspect of the life of Kurt Cobain.

Although I was well aware of Nirvana when they were going strong I’ve never known much about Cobain other than that he took his own life at a terribly young age. Though this is far from an in-depth biography, it makes for a compelling read – at least for me as a newbie to the story.

I really like the illustrations throughout the book – they really put the graphic into this graphic novel and very nicely echo the highs and lows of a manic life.



Though the app works in both landscape and portrait mode, I found it feels better, feels more designed for, portrait mode.

It’s quite a basic app – apart from the novel itself, there are just a couple additional sections. The About section covers the book’s history and how it got to the App Store, and the Intro section is a brief bio and tribute on both Cobain and Nirvana.

There’s also a backing track that can be toggled on and off when you’re in the About and Intro sections.

The strength of the story and the excellent graphics carry the app nicely.

This is a 17+ rated app, for the following:

  • Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes
  • Infrequent/Mild Horror/Fear Themes
  • Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content or Nudity
  • Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
  • Frequent/Intense Profanity or Crude Humor
  • Frequent/Intense Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References

For me, as a Cobain novice, this was an enjoyable read. If any of you are major fans of Cobain and Nirvana I’d love to hear your thoughts on the app if you decide to give it a look.

Here’s an App Store link for Kurt Cobain: The Graphic Novel; it’s priced at $5.99.

Disclosure: This app was independently purchased by the post author in the iPad App Store. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the "About" page. 

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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