Tag Archives: comic art
A new take on Marvel’s iconic, cosmic philosopher – courtesy of Slott and the Allreds
Every comic book story is a combination, in differing proportions, of words and art. Sometimes it’s a bad mix. Egos come into play and each creator fights to assert his or her own dominance on the project. Sometimes those fights produce masterpieces, other times the partnership falls apart and the work suffers. In this case it seems that Dan Slott is able to work well within the deliciously offbeat Allred universe.
The Silver Surfer is almost a religious figure at Marvel Comics. He has been used in years past to wrestle with all sorts of large philosophical questions. Dan Slott gets right to the point with the Surfer’s first scene. After saving the life of an entire planet, our hero rejects their adulation. “I deserve neither praise nor glory,” he thinks. Is the author telling us he intends to stay far away from this aspect of the character’s past or is this just a quick reminder of the nature of the Surfer’s personality and place in the universe?
The rest of the issue reads like a fun romp through an issue of Madman. Our journey includes strange environments, bizarre aliens and hipster girls that somehow reject and yet fit right in with the weird surroundings. It seems like Slott is having fun here. He is as much a tourist as his audience and his protagonist. Even so, the author is keeping us on course. I particularly enjoyed how he engineered the introduction of what will most likely be the Surfer’s new love interest. This first issue kept moving yet also stayed dedicated to careful story crafting.
Michael Allred’s art seems like a perfect fit for the Silver Surfer’s universe. He has taken a decidedly Jack Kirby take on our hero while immersing him completely into a universe filled with Allred goodies. For those unfamiliar with his work, Allred uses an amazing combination of art deco, pop art and 50’s kitsch. The boundaries of his imagination seem set a little further out than most artists. That being said his work in this issue is a terrific mix of outlandish elements and classic comic book components.
The book’s art also delivers a few wow moments as well. The reveal of the Impericon on the middle splash page is something that I could look at forever. Allred also took a very unique turn at retelling the Surfer’s origin (of sorts) by having scenes from his past appear as reflections on his silvery skin.
Laura Allred’s colors amaze as well. She seems to having fun with the Silver Surfer’s classic blue highlights. She uses a pleasing mix of colored pencil effect that boarders at times on water colors when smoothed out. Even so, the Surfer retains his sleek appearance. I also liked how she worked from a complementary palate for each environment but still managed to appropriately adapt to each world. Dawn’s coastal home, for example, has its blues and beiges but also contains a fun pop of pink, yellow and red as needed.
What to look for
Dan Slott’s humor and storytelling mixed with the beautiful Allred art.
What might put you off
Some of Allred’s work may seem too weird or out there for fans of more traditional comic art
This is a must read. These creators are an excellent combination for this character who at times can come off stiff and unrelatable.
Title Silver Surfer
Issue Number 1
Release Date 3/26/2014
Writer Dan Slott
Artist Michael Allred
Colorist Laura Allred
Letterer Clayton Cowles
Editor Tom Brevoort
Reviewed by Geoff Jolliff
Todd McFarlane’s cover art for Amazing Spider-Man #328, which depicts Spider-Man battling the Hulk, has sold at auction for $657,250, Heritage Auctions announced Thursday. That topped the price for McFarlane’s art for Spider-Man #1, which sold for $358,500 in the same auction. The art was part of the Shamus Collection of Modern Masterworks, assembled by Martin Shamus, Wizard publisher Gareb and Steven Shamus’ father.
The price for the cover art for Amazing Spider-Man #328 sets a new record for a single piece of American comic art, topping the price for a Dark Knight splash page by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson set last year.
A CGC 9.8 copy of X-Men #1 from the same auction sold for $492,937.50, according to Hollywood Reporter; and a 9.6 copy of Avengers #1 went for $274,850. Those were both record prices for those books.
Dreamworks is in talks to acquire the live action feature rights to Xombie, created by James Farr, according to Hollywood Reporter. Xombie originated as a Flash-animated online series and was adapted into a Devil’s Due comic. The Flash series, Xombie: Dead on Arrival was released on DVD by Halo 8.
The property is also being developed as an “illustrated film,” which uses comic art, motion animation, 3D CGI, sound design, music, and voice performances in a motion comic-style production, by Halo 8.
The studio is looking at a Xombie script by L.A. cop/screenwriter Will Beall, with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (View-Master) in line to produce.
Allred wraps up his first large story arc is it possible to have a happy ending in comics?
Madman (Frank Einstein) is a former hitman that died in a car accident. A pair of mad scientists resurrected him and for whatever reason, the process endowed him with slightly increased physical and psychic abilities.
The title’s supporting characters include his love interest Joe (Josephine), a collection of oddball scientist types and the Atomics, a strange band of superpowered beatniks. Madman stories typically involve a mixture of 50s sci-fi, the supernatural and Madman’s quest for self discovery.
Allred has produced Madman comics through a number of different publishers including Dark Horse, Oni and now Image.
Reviewing an issue of Madman is like reviewing raw oysters or a Frank Zappa album. Either you like it or you don’t. Once you have decided to run away and join the Atomic Comics circus, then you can start thinking about things like story. This issue actually followed a firm plotline and story. It introduced new and unusual elements but the characters quickly explained them. No new mysteries unfolded here. This issue was all about closing the storylines that had been brewing since Issue 1 back in April of 2007.
In the end, this story is about friendship and love. Couples are reunited but only through their love for one another. Mike Allred (X-Statix) shows us that even with the ultimate in retro 50’s sci-fi technology, sometimes you just need patience and friendship to resurrect those thought lost to you. This entire arc has not been about saving the universe (although that was part of it) it was about finding who you really are through the trauma of loss. Who are we when the chips are down? Allred gives us a timely message in a weirdly entertaining and offbeat universe.
Allred’s art has its basis firmly in the pop culture of the past. Check out Issue #3 where Frank jumps from dimension to dimension as Allred runs his story through a history of comic art luminaries including Carl Barks (Scrooge McDuck) and Jack Kirby. The art uses pencil shades and thick exterior lines on objects. His backgrounds are painstakingly detailed when needed and provide emphasis to the story when needed. The colors can range from moody gray tones to garish 50’s combinations like yellow and magenta. This is not to say that this is an exercise in retro comic art. Allred deftly combines his retro elements with current comic tech to provide a look that is contemporary and unique.
What to look for
The last two pages contain something rare for comic book characters.
What might put you off
If you don’t dig words like “groovy,” the whole book may put you off.
I cannot recommend this to everyone as it is an acquired taste. This can be a fun and enjoyable read – if you want it to be.
Title Madman Action Comics
Issue Number 13
Release Date 2/4/2008
Most Stuff by Michael Allred
Technicolor Splendor by Laura Allred
Security Courtesy of Jamie S. Rich
Typography Created by Blambot’s Nate Piekos
Finger Painting by Anakin Allred
Pin-Up by Barron Storey
Reviewed by Geoff Jolliff