Updated: Jan 24
Michael Allred is one of the most unique and out of the box thinking artists and writers in comics. He's most famous for his independent comics creation, Madman.
His style is often compared to pop art, as well as commercial and comic art of the 1950s and 1960s. It's instantly recognizable. Having worked on some of the more unique and weird books at Marvel (SILVER SURFER & X-STATIX) I've always gravitated towards any project he works on.
With his latest project, about Bowie, he's fulfilling a lifelong passion project and it shows when you look at those pages. He also just announced yesterday that he's working on another new project at Dark Horse called X-RAY ROBOT and it looks amazing.
Anyways I'm really stoked that I got to interview hima nd am able to shar this with all of you guys. Hope you enjoy!
COMIC LOUNGE: What first got you into comic books?
MICHAEL ALLRED: Thanks to my oder Brother Lee, comics were always around. I can't remeber them not being in my life, or having fun making our own. Then I found out how to submit my work and it was published. Been knocking 'em out ever since. COMIC LOUNGE: When did you decide you wanted to illustrate comics professionally?
ALLRED: For my entire childhood I didn't have a clue how to go about doing it professionally. In the 80s when I saw little upstart publishers having success I saw it as a possibility and jumped at it. Been blissfully making a living at it ever since. COMIC LOUNGE: Who are some of your biggest influences?
ALLRED: Oh so many influences. But some of my biggest inspirations would be Jack Kirby, Alex Toth, Dave Stevens, Barry Windsor-Smith, Roy Crane, Bruno Premiani, Charles Burns, Dan Clowes, Chester Brown, Darwyn Cooke, Frank Miller, David Mazzacchelli, Art Adams, Geof Darrow,...Oh, I can't forget the Hernandez Brothers. They were the biggest influence to get me to seriously attempt going pro.
COMIC LOUNGE: What was your first published work?
ALLRED:DEAD AIR a graphic novel form Slave Labor Graphics.
COMIC LOUNGE: I discovered your work through Chasing Amy. I know, weird right. But I've been a fan ever since. How did that job come about?
ALLRED: All the CHASING AMY art came from literally running into Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier at ComiCon. We were walking towards each other and recognized each other and struck up a conversation. They were about to release their second film, Mallrats and asked if I'd do a piece of art for the opening titles. I guess they liked what I did since when putting their third flick together, CHASING AMY, they asked me to do all of Ben Affleck's and Jason Lee's artwork, as well as the entire opening titles sequence. COMIC LOUNGE: I know you're working on a Bowie book, which sounds fantastic. Can you talk a little about that?
ALLRED: The BOWIE book is a near lifelong passion. It's a big bite of his life, in fact his entire life is represented but it mostly focusses on his drive for success and finally reaching superstardom with ZIGGY STARDUST. We're so excited about it. It'll actually be out for his birthday January 8th.
COMIC LOUNGE: What other projects are you currently working on?
ALLRED: I have the new X-CELLENT series from Marvel that we're working on. It spins off from our X-STATIX stuff. And I have a creator-owne mini coming from Dark Horse that hasn't been announced yet. It will expand on my "MADMANIVERSE". COMIC LOUNGE: Two books that you've worked on, that really stand out to me are from Marvel, X-Statix and Silver Surfer. Are there any plans to do more Marvel stuff? Madman, when will we see more?
ALLRED: The X-CELLENT from Marvel and the new Dark Horse mini will actually have an appearance from MADMAN. I'm sure it will be officially announced soon, so I'll just go ahead and tell you...it's called X-RAY ROBOT! COMIC LOUNGE: Hey I was wondering if you could expand a little on X-Ray Robot?
ALLRED: X-RAY ROBOT is a 4-issue sci fi adventure that expands on my "MADMANiverse" where any and all of my creator-owned characters can run into each other. But this also stands on its own with no prior knowledge of my past work is required. A multi-dimensional snafu kicks of my biggest mind-blower yet.
COMIC LOUNGE: Can you talk a little about the documentary being made about you also?
ALLRED: SPACE FACE my son's documentary is completely out of my bubble. I know Han's theme is very existential. I'm both excited and very nervous about it. I very rarely reveal much about my personal life. And his questions to me and many of my peers have been very VERY personal.
COMIC LOUNGE: What does being an artist mean to you?
ALLRED: Being an artist means that I can create something today that didn't exist yesterday.