Every week How to Love Comics spotlights a comic book artist that should be on your radar. We present you a gallery of their work and then leave you some reading recommendations if you are starving for more of their work. We have cleverly titled this Artist of the Week.
After a few weeks off, Artist of the Week returns with the terrific Mike Allred. Allred came to notice when his series Madman was released through Dark Horse Comics in the mid-90s. Since then he has gone on to work a variety of projects at Marvel, DC and Vertigo and has been nominated and won numerous awards. Currently he is working on Silver Surfer with writer Dan Slott, along with covers for a number of series.
Influenced by artists such as Jack Kirby and Johnny Craig, Allred’s art is reminiscent of comic book artists of the 1950’s and 60’s mixed with a pop art dynamic. As a result, his art is dynamic and is a whole lot of fun. When added with the vibrant colours supplied by his wife, Laura Allred, his art bursts off the page.
Below is a gallery of his work from various points in his career. Enjoy!
Mike Allred Recommendations
Hopefully the gallery has you excited about Mike Allred’s art, so much so, that you want to go out and read some of his work. Here are the three comics I would highly recommend you read.
Combining super-heroics and pop culture, Madman is a weird but wonderful series starring Frank Einstein – a being who been stitched up and brought back to life. Frank dresses up as his favourite childhood hero and goes on wild adventures – battling foes such as mad scientists, strange mutants, aliens and government agencies. Along the way Allred introduces the reader to a variety of colourful characters, which adds to the bizarre nature of the series.
Allred’s art is a stark contrast to much of the comic art coming out during the 90s. It bursts off the page, full of bizarre characters and ideas, showing that Mike Allred is overflowing with imagination.
Madman has been published through various publishers over the past 20 plus years, although all the material is currently available through Image Comics. Start with Madman Comics volumes 1-3, followed by Madman and the Atomics and then Madman Atomic Comics volumes 1-3 to collect the majority of material.
iZombie is the story of Gwen, grave digger who also happens to be a zombie. Although, she is able to retain her memories and intelligence as long as she eats a brain once a month. The side effect of eating a brain mean that she inherits the recent memories of the deceased. With these memories she, and her equally odd friends, tie up loose ends and honour final requests of the recently deceased.
A pilot for an iZombie TV series at The CW is currently in development and should air later in the year.
iZombie ran for 28 issues and is collected in four trade paperbacks, as well as digitally.
Silver Surfer is Allred’s current project, with one issue (the second on it’s way this week) and a short story so far released. The series chronicles the adventures of The Silver Surfer and his earthly companion, Dawn, as they travel around the weird and wonderful universe.
This title is well suited Allred’s art, with the artist creating countless weird and wonderful aliens and locations. He also brings a fun tone to the character, who has traditionally been brooding and conflicted with burden.
If you are a fan of Doctor Who then this series will probably be up your alley. You can sample the series for free with this short story by the creative team.