Material Sound is a comic book that explores music consumption and expression through musical objects. It focuses on why people feel the need to express their music taste through physical and digital objects. The comic includes small narrative strips and advertisements which are depicted with ironic, humorous and satirical tones. The comic strips and advertisements look at the irony of some of the music products and the way people express themselves through these products. There is an appeal to have a vintage aesthetic of collecting kitsch objects such as vinyl, old band t-shirts and old posters which allow the owner to express their music taste. These vintage and nostalgic objects are appealing to a younger generation and new subcultures and the older formats may be new to these audiences. Vinyl has seen a large growth in sales over recent years and the format is attracting new people who are not knowledgeable about the format, in turn, this creates a divide between the newcomers and purists. The book also looks into modern technologies and how people express their music taste through streaming and other digital formats, the comic covers expression at music festivals and concerts and how we present our music taste on the internet and social media. The advertisements share a relation to the comic strips, however, the advertisements focus on how we consume music and the comic strips focus on why we consume music. The comic book features a supporting workbook which shows the research behind the comic and features character design and development. The character design is inspired by cartoons from around the 1940’s which allows for a comedic depiction of the themes. The comics are created using traditional media which adds to the material feel of the publication.
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