Tag Archives: michael allred

Review: Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, Moonage Daydreams

Michael Allred, Steve Horton, and Laura Allred’s graphic biography Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams is a love letter to musical legend and bisexual chameleon, David Bowie. The book mainly focuses on his Ziggy Stardust period with the Allreds beautifully illustrating a montage of live shows as Bowie’s creation and the Spiders from Mars come to vivid life in Europe, North America, and Asia. Horton and Allred use the Spiders’ final gig at London’s Hammersmith Odeon as a framing narrative. Because Bowie had a six-decade recording career, this narrative strategy is effective and also turns the comic into a history of a certain period of pop music when peace beads and flower headdresses were replaced with elaborate makeup, big guitars, and all things glam.

Although the ever-shifting image of David Bowie himself is always at the center of Bowie, Horton and Allred tell their story in what is basically a series of montages. There will be a beautiful dream sequence with a trippy color palette from Laura Allred that visually shows the inspiration of hit songs like “Space Oddity”, “Life on Mars”, or “Rock n Roll Suicide” to name a few, and then we’ll get a list of various celebrities at a Ziggy Stardust show or a check-in on what’s happening with his contemporaries like T. Rex’s Marc Bolan or Lou Reed.

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

For the most part, Horton uses minimal captions and lets Mike Allred’s art and Laura Allred’s tell the story. But when the comic calls for it, he can inject moments of humor like Bowie’s reaction to his son Zowie (Now director Duncan Jones) destroying his record collection or poignancy when Bowie reflects on his family’s history of mental illness or begins to articulate the idea of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars to his band. Horton and Allred draw parallels between both Ziggy and Bowie’s hubris as he turns a blind eye when his corrupt lawyer is paying long term band members three times less than relatively new keyboard player, Mike Garson. Although they’re iconic images, there is an air of ego to Bowie’s famous Aladdin Sane photo shoot with Allred’s use of negative space crowding the Spiders from Mars out of the frame even though guitarist Mick Ronson was a vital part of his music and helped keep him focus when he was too busy flirting with his lover-turned-wife, Angie.

However, what will stay with me most from Bowie are the Allreds’ ability to capture the energy of live music while still doing spot-on likenesses of historical figures performing. When Mick Ronson and Bowie harmonize on “Starman” or (controversially) embrace on a Top of the Pops performance, there is a camaraderie and almost sexual chemistry between the two men that makes the later “breakup” scene emotionally resonant. Although Allred mainly puts Bowie at the center of the frame, he makes sure to cut to the audience and their hands as they are inspired and reaffirmed that it’s okay to be a little strange or non-heterosexual by this benevolent, iconic alien before them. The Allreds add some flourishes like Kirby Krackle every time Bowie does something that is especially extraterrestrial like floating in space in an early film that was a companion to “Space Oddity”.

Underneath the heavily researched and striking fashions and celebrity cameos, Bowie is about creating an identity out of the things one is passionate about. For example, Bowie and his band mates saw A Clockwork Orange when it was first release, and it immediately impacted the costuming, visual design, and even the intro of the Ziggy Stardust live show. Basically, he was a huge nerd for pop and folk music, high fashion, literature, and film, and it shown out in both his art and the way he approached the world. Bowie is filled with moments where Horton and Allred (And by extension, David Bowie) respects their fellow artists like a full page splash homage to Bob Dylan and Elvis, bringing up Lou Reed on stage, running around Detroit with Iggy Pop, and inspiring the young Morrissey and Bruce Springsteen during his concerts. It shows that art can lead to friendship, lifelong influences, and sometimes tragedy like the aforementioned tension between Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, and Moonage Daydreams is a highly stylized, yet infinitely human look at an important period in David Bowie’s career from Mike Allred, Steve Horton, and Laura Allred. The graphic biography captures the feeling of the music of Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane through dreamlike visuals as well as adding historical context to these songs and albums and personal anecdotes that add both vulnerable and mystique to Bowie’s story. Its epilogue also kind of made me want a sequel featuring the Thin White Duke and some of Bowie’s later personas. This book truly feels like a passion project and transported me to a bittersweet day six years when a closeted, sad teenager listened to the CD of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stars and the Spiders from Mars and felt “not alone”. It’s a must read for any Bowie fan, especially those who love his early-1970s work the best.

Story: Steve Horton and Michael Allred
Art: Michael Allred Colors: Laura Allred
Story: 7.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Insight Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: Amazon (Regular Edition)Zeus Comics

A classic Archie superhero returns to duty in Betty Cooper: Superteen #1 by Danielle Paige and Brittney Williams!

Riverdale’s favorite girl-next-door is upgrading her already impressive power set this June as she takes the lead in a super-fun, super-exciting, super-powered one-shot comic book, Betty Cooper: Superteen!

Based on the classic superpowered versions of the Riverdale gang dating back to 1965, known as “Archie’s Super Teens,” this modern update of Betty’s super alter ego is written by YA fantasy phenom Danielle Paige, and features an updated stylistic look by artist Brittney WilliamsBetty’s modernized costume was redesigned by Robbi Rodriguez of Spider-Gwen fame.

In this fresh starting point for new Superteen fans, Betty is gifted with superpowers and takes the opportunity to level up her constant efforts to help people. But a new villain is on the scene, as well, and it looks like it might be her BFF, Veronica!

Betty Cooper is always trying her best. To be the best student. The best friend. The best person she can be. She’s not perfect – but she’s always willing to help. But when she finds herself gifted with out-of-this-world powers can Betty still do good without it affecting the low-key life she’s come to love? Also, what’s up with that villain looking a lot like . . . Veronica? BETTY COOPER: SUPERTEEN is a fun, action-adventure exploration of what it means to be a hero, set firmly in the familiar and modern world of Archie Comics.

Written by Daniel Paige, the comic features art by Brittney Williams, Matt Herms, and Jack Morelli. It features a main cover by Williams with variants by Michael Allred, Emanuela Luppacchino, Marguerite Sauvage, and Michael Walsh. Betty Cooper: Superteen arrives in comic shops on June 10, 2020.

The legendary New Wave band comes to Riverdale in this advance preview of Archie Meets the B-52s #1!

ARCHIE MEETS THE B-52s (One-Shot)

Script: Alex Segura and Matt Rosenberg
Art: Dan Parent, J. Bone, Glenn Whitmore, Jack Morelli
Cover: Dan Parent, Michael Allred, Tyler Boss, Joe Eisma, Francesco Francavilla
On Sale Date: 2/19
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

It’s a rock and roll adventure for the ages as Archie and his friends cross paths with a real rock lobster—the B-52s! Co-written by Alex Segura and Matthew Rosenberg (Archie Meets Ramones, The Archies), with art from the legendary Dan Parent (Archie Meets KISS), this epic crossover one-shot brings the B-52 gang into Riverdale in all their new wave glory—but can Archie get his band back together in time to jam with these legends, or will in-fighting and musical drama leave them in the dust? There’s only one way to find out!

ARCHIE MEETS THE B-52s (One-Shot)

Review: Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, Moonage Daydreams

Michael Allred, Steve Horton, and Laura Allred’s graphic biography Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams is a love letter to musical legend and bisexual chameleon, David Bowie. The book mainly focuses on his Ziggy Stardust period with the Allreds beautifully illustrating a montage of live shows as Bowie’s creation and the Spiders from Mars come to vivid life in Europe, North America, and Asia. Horton and Allred use the Spiders’ final gig at London’s Hammersmith Odeon as a framing narrative. Because Bowie had a six-decade recording career, this narrative strategy is effective and also turns the comic into a history of a certain period of pop music when peace beads and flower headdresses were replaced with elaborate makeup, big guitars, and all things glam.

Although the ever-shifting image of David Bowie himself is always at the center of Bowie, Horton and Allred tell their story in what is basically a series of montages. There will be a beautiful dream sequence with a trippy color palette from Laura Allred that visually shows the inspiration of hit songs like “Space Oddity”, “Life on Mars”, or “Rock n Roll Suicide” to name a few, and then we’ll get a list of various celebrities at a Ziggy Stardust show or a check-in on what’s happening with his contemporaries like T. Rex’s Marc Bolan or Lou Reed.

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

For the most part, Horton uses minimal captions and lets Mike Allred’s art and Laura Allred’s tell the story. But when the comic calls for it, he can inject moments of humor like Bowie’s reaction to his son Zowie (Now director Duncan Jones) destroying his record collection or poignancy when Bowie reflects on his family’s history of mental illness or begins to articulate the idea of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars to his band. Horton and Allred draw parallels between both Ziggy and Bowie’s hubris as he turns a blind eye when his corrupt lawyer is paying long term band members three times less than relatively new keyboard player, Mike Garson. Although they’re iconic images, there is an air of ego to Bowie’s famous Aladdin Sane photo shoot with Allred’s use of negative space crowding the Spiders from Mars out of the frame even though guitarist Mick Ronson was a vital part of his music and helped keep him focus when he was too busy flirting with his lover-turned-wife, Angie.

However, what will stay with me most from Bowie are the Allreds’ ability to capture the energy of live music while still doing spot-on likenesses of historical figures performing. When Mick Ronson and Bowie harmonize on “Starman” or (controversially) embrace on a Top of the Pops performance, there is a camaraderie and almost sexual chemistry between the two men that makes the later “breakup” scene emotionally resonant. Although Allred mainly puts Bowie at the center of the frame, he makes sure to cut to the audience and their hands as they are inspired and reaffirmed that it’s okay to be a little strange or non-heterosexual by this benevolent, iconic alien before them. The Allreds add some flourishes like Kirby Krackle every time Bowie does something that is especially extraterrestrial like floating in space in an early film that was a companion to “Space Oddity”.

Underneath the heavily researched and striking fashions and celebrity cameos, Bowie is about creating an identity out of the things one is passionate about. For example, Bowie and his band mates saw A Clockwork Orange when it was first release, and it immediately impacted the costuming, visual design, and even the intro of the Ziggy Stardust live show. Basically, he was a huge nerd for pop and folk music, high fashion, literature, and film, and it shown out in both his art and the way he approached the world. Bowie is filled with moments where Horton and Allred (And by extension, David Bowie) respects their fellow artists like a full page splash homage to Bob Dylan and Elvis, bringing up Lou Reed on stage, running around Detroit with Iggy Pop, and inspiring the young Morrissey and Bruce Springsteen during his concerts. It shows that art can lead to friendship, lifelong influences, and sometimes tragedy like the aforementioned tension between Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, and Moonage Daydreams is a highly stylized, yet infinitely human look at an important period in David Bowie’s career from Mike Allred, Steve Horton, and Laura Allred. The graphic biography captures the feeling of the music of Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane through dreamlike visuals as well as adding historical context to these songs and albums and personal anecdotes that add both vulnerable and mystique to Bowie’s story. Its epilogue also kind of made me want a sequel featuring the Thin White Duke and some of Bowie’s later personas. This book truly feels like a passion project and transported me to a bittersweet day six years when a closeted, sad teenager listened to the CD of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stars and the Spiders from Mars and felt “not alone”. It’s a must read for any Bowie fan, especially those who love his early-1970s work the best.

Story: Steve Horton and Michael Allred
Art: Michael Allred Colors: Laura Allred
Story: 7.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Insight Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

(W) Steve Horton (A) Michael Allred
In Shops: Jan 08, 2020
SRP: $39.99

Inspired by the one and only superhero, extraterrestrial, and rock and roll deity in history, BOWIE: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams is the original graphic memoir of the great Ziggy Stardust!

In life, David Bowie was one of the most magnetic icons of modern pop culture, seducing generations of fans with both his music and his counterculture persona. In death, the cult of Bowie has only intensified. As a musician alone, Bowie’s legacy is remarkable, but his place in the popular imagination is due to so much more than his music. As a visual performer, he defied classification with his psychedelic aesthetics, his larger-than-life image, and his way of hovering on the border of the surreal.

BOWIE: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams chronicles the rise of Bowie’s career from obscurity to fame; and paralleled by the rise and fall of his alter ego as well as the rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust. As the Spiders from Mars slowly implode, Bowie wrestles with his Ziggy persona. The outcome of this internal conflict will change not only David Bowie, but also, the world.

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

Early Preview: Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

(W) Steve Horton (A) Michael Allred
In Shops: Jan 08, 2020
SRP: $39.99

Inspired by the one and only superhero, extraterrestrial, and rock and roll deity in history, BOWIE: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams is the original graphic memoir of the great Ziggy Stardust!

In life, David Bowie was one of the most magnetic icons of modern pop culture, seducing generations of fans with both his music and his counterculture persona. In death, the cult of Bowie has only intensified. As a musician alone, Bowie’s legacy is remarkable, but his place in the popular imagination is due to so much more than his music. As a visual performer, he defied classification with his psychedelic aesthetics, his larger-than-life image, and his way of hovering on the border of the surreal.

BOWIE: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams chronicles the rise of Bowie’s career from obscurity to fame; and paralleled by the rise and fall of his alter ego as well as the rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust. As the Spiders from Mars slowly implode, Bowie wrestles with his Ziggy persona. The outcome of this internal conflict will change not only David Bowie, but also, the world.

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

Set off on an adventure with Michael Allred, Laura Allred, Nate Piekos, and X-Ray Robot!

From visionary cartoonist, Michael Allred, colorist Laura Allred, and letterer Nate Piekos comes the out-of-this-world road trip X-Ray Robot!

Max is a family man seeking a more interesting life. While conducting a new experiment at work the fabric of his reality is torn before his eyes, and a robotic figure appears claiming to be his 277-year-old self. The robot is able to “X-Ray” multiple dimensions and battles a nihilistic entity from another dimension who wants to take all life to its “Pre-Big Bang” status. Max and the robot embark on an interdimensional road trip through past and future to take down the “Nihilist” and save the universe!

Each issue of X-Ray Robot contains bonus 3D pin-ups! X-Ray Robot #1 (of four) goes on sale March 25, 2020.

X-Ray Robot #1

Review: The Amazing Spider-Man: Full Circle #1

Seven teams of creators get together and jam on this comic in a round-robin style story. Each team has no idea who the previous are until they get their part and no idea what’s coming. The result? Really entertaining.

Story: Jonathan Hickman, Gerry Duggan, Nick Spencer, Kelly Thompson, Al Ewing, Chip Zdarsky, Jason Aaron
Art: Chris Bachalo, Greg Smallwood, Michael Allred, Valerio Schiti, Chris Sprouse, Rachael Stott, Cameron Stewart, Mark Bagley
Ink: Tim Townsend, Al Vey, Greg Smallwood, Michael Allred, Valerio Schiti, Karl Story, Rachael Stott, Cameron Stewart, John Bell
Color: Chris Bachalo, Greg Smallwood, Laura Allred, Mattia Iacono, Dave McCaig, Triona Farrell, Nathan Fairbairn, Frank D’Armata
Letterer: Joe Caramagna

Get your copy in comic shops now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
Kindle/comiXology
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Giant-Size X-Statix #1

Giant-Size X-Statix #1

The X-Statix are back in Giant-Size X-Statix #1! Who are the X-Statix? Well, you don’t need to worry about that a whole lot as the creative team has you covered and catches you up. Writer Peter Milligan does a brilliant job and laying out the land for new readers, reminding older readers, and setting up what’s to come in this oversized issue.

Being unfamiliar with the series and characters myself, I got a good sense of their voice rather quickly. They come off as a less serious X-Men with a pop-indie vibe. The X-Statix are as focused on their popularity as they are doing what’s right. And with that comes a lot of humor as the ream is brought together to face a new threat and confront some of their past.

I’m sure older fans of the X-Statix will enjoy Giant-Size X-Statix #1 on a different level than I did but I still found myself laughing enough to want to come back for more. There’s a certain pop-sense about it all with updated jokes that creates a fun reading experience.

A lot of that fun experience is due to the art of Michael Allred and Laura Allred. The two together have a certain style that’s unique and easily recognizable. A trippy style is mixed with small visual jokes and a whimsical feel that fits Milligan’s writing style for the series. All together it has you wanting to drop acid and enjoy the ride.

The comic was unexpected and not sure it was even needed. But, after reading it, I know I want more and looks like we might get exactly that in 2020.

Story: Peter Milligan Art: Michael Allred
Color: Laura Allred Letterer: Nate Piekos
Story: 8.35 Art: 8.65 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Giant-Size X-Statix #1

The X-Statix are back! But who are the new members and what’s their connection to the past X-Statix? Also, who’s The X-Cellents!? Find out in this entertaining giant sized issue.

Story: Peter Milligan
Art: Michael Allred
Color: Laura Allred
Letters: Nate Piekos

Get your copy in comic shops starting July 10! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

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