Michael Allred : Conversations
Michael Allred stands out for his blend of spiritual and philosophical approaches with an art style reminiscent of 1960s era superhero comics, which creates a mixture of both postmodernism and nostalgia. His childhood came during an era where pop art and camp embraced elements of kitsch and pastiche and introduced them into the lexicon of popular culture. Allred's use of both in his work as a cartoonist on his signature comic book Madman in the early 1990s offset the veiled autobiography of his own spiritual journey through Mormonism and struggles with existentialism.
Thematically, Allred's work deals heavily with the afterlife as his creations struggle with the grander questions--whether his modern Frankenstein hero Madman, cosmic rock 'n' roller Red Rocket 7, the undead heroine of iZombie (co-created with writer Chris Roberson), or the cast of superhero team book The Atomics. Allred also enjoys a position in the creator-driven generation that informs the current batch of independent cartoonists and has experienced his own brush with a major Hollywood studio's aborted film adaptation of Madman. Allred's other brushes with Hollywood include an independent adaptation of his comic book The G-Men from Hell, an appearance as himself in Kevin Smith's romantic comedy Chasing Amy (where he provided illustrations for a fictitious comic book), the television adaptation of iZombie, and an ongoing relationship with director Robert Rodriguez on a future Madman film.
Michael Allred: Conversations features several interviews with the cartoonist from the early days of Madman's success through to his current mainstream work for Marvel Comics. To read them is to not only witness the ever-changing state of the comic book industry, but also to document Allred's growth as a creative genius.