Tag Archives: Iowa City

70 Aspects of Batman: 28

MIKE ALLRED

From Wikipedia:

Michael Dalton “Mike” Allred is an American comic book artist and writer most famous for his indie comics creation, Madman. His style is often compared to pop art, as well as commercial and comic art of the 1950s and 1960s.

Allred began his career as a TV reporter in Europe, and started drawing comics in 1989 with the 104-page OGN Dead Air (Slave Labor Graphics). Following this up with his similarly-titled works Graphique Musique (SLG, 1990) and Grafik Muzik (Caliber Comics 1990/91), he set out the style that he was to become known for with his most famous character: Madman.

The first Madman miniseries debuted from Tundra Publishing in March 1992, and gained higher recognition with its move to Dark Horse Comics in April 1994. Relaunched as Madman Comics, it went on to be nominated for several Harvey Awards. Allred himself gained further mainstream attention with the science-fiction/rock-and-roll comic Red Rocket 7 and his art for writer Peter Milligan‘s series X-Force, which he began drawing in July 2001, and subsequently became X-Statix after X-Force #128.

His more recent work includes The Golden Plates, an adaptation of The Book of Mormon. Other projects are inking X-Statix Presents: Deadgirl, and work on a new ‘Madman’ series. He has also drawn three issues of the Vertigo comic Fables. His wife, Laura, frequently works as his colorist.

Allred is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, otherwise known as the Mormons.

Currently, he’s performing art duties on up and coming Vertigo series I, Zombie, written by Chris Roberson. The main character, Gwendolyn “Gwen” Dylan, is a ‘zombie girl detective’.

I first encountered Mike Allred’s work in the pages of Madman #1, waaaay back in 1993. When I would stay with my grandparents for a bit in the summer, my grandma would drive me to nearby Iowa City in order to take advantage of some of the things the college town offered that their small town didn’t. Like comic shops! I don’t remember if I read about Madman before I bought it, but for some reason one day, instead of getting the newest issue of Spawn I got Madman #1 from Tundra. I was instantly attracted to Allred’s clean, retro style (though his early stuff had more of a Charles Burns-y feel as well), and read and re-read the issue multiple times. I’ve been an Allred devotee ever since.

Apart from the odd pin-up, Allred’s most substantial work on Batman appeared in his issue of Solo, entitled “Batman-A-Go-Go”. I want to say BAGG was meant to be a miniseries at one point, but I can’t find anything online to support that. I definitely remember it being an idea that was mentioned long before it eventually appeared.

Unsurprisingly, considering the influence the 60s have on his work,  Allred’s take on Batman in this story is steeped in the look of the Adam West starring-TV show. The main plot of “Batman-A-Go-Go”, however, actually concerns Batman’s disillusionment about how the world is changing into a much darker place than the day-glo sound effects-laden one of the show. It’s an interesting take, and it would have been nice to see this story in full miniseries form (if that was ever actually a possibility).

So in closing, Mike Allred has long been one of my favorite comic artists, and you should do your best to seek out his issue of Solo, and everything else he’s ever done.

– Greg

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT RE: THE FUTURE OF BEATI PAOLI

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but things have been pretty quiet on the Beati Paoli front lately. The main reason? Beati Paoli is no more. Last fall, our guitar player Cecil decided the time was right for him to begin working toward his dream of becoming a doctor. While we were sad to see him go, we were happy for him and understood the difficult choice he had to make between music and medicine. But Cecil’s departure left a huge hole to fill. For awhile myself, Scott and Ryan bandied about the idea of recruiting a new guitarist, swapping instruments between the remaining members and other options that we ultimately rejected.

Eventually we came to the realization that so much of what made Beati Paoli great were the contributions that Cecil and guitarist Uciel before him brought to the group, and that without them it really wouldn’t be the same dynamic and, thus, the same band. So Scott, Ryan and myself decided to end Beati Paoli and move forward as a new unit, with a new approach to performing, releasing and recording music. The name of this project is…

GOLDEN VEINS

Golden Veins’ first show will be Saturday, May 1st at the Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines supporting Canby for their CD release show. The following evening, May 2nd, GV will play their second show opening for the venerable Poison Control Center at their CD release show at The Mill in Iowa City. We have been hard at work the past six months recording music, practicing with our live set-up and deciding how we want to release the music made as Golden Veins. We aren’t quite ready to unveil all these details just yet, but more news will be forthcoming very soon. These shows will give you a good idea of what to expect from us from now on. We’d love to see you there…please come out and let us know what you think.

– Greg

P.S. Visit http://www.goldenveins.com for more information.

The Industry (Iowa City, Ia 11/21/08)

1.) Rabble Rouse
2.) A Sense Of Urgency
3.) Lovely To Someone
4.) Massive Charm Offensive
5.) Vulgarity Drifting Diary
6.) Every Day, An Elegy
7.) You Are My Megalodon
8.) If The Mood Should Strike…

w/ Pale Young Gentlemen and Pictures Of Then

Austria Vs. Japan: Iowa Edition

I was made aware of the following story courtesy of our very own Joe Milik. He claims it took place in the building next to the one he is currently squating in while visiting Iowa City. I wasn’t going to post about it, as I figured it would be fairly big news. Not because it’s huge news, but merely because it’s strange. However, after mentioning this to several people and none being aware, I knew I had to do it…

Early Sunday morning in Iowa City, Iowa, two men, David Christian and Michael Steward, were playing chess and drinking heavily. At some point, a fight broke out and Christan proceeded to kill Steward. While a murder over a chess game is enough to get a chuckle at best, it is in the details where it gets interesting.

Christian grabbed Steward’s hands and held them while he placed Steward’s head between his legs, applying pressure to Steward’s neck.

Christian told police he did this again and again until Steward “didn’t look so good,” reports show. Police say they asked Christian to specify, and the defendant asked, “Have you ever see a dead person?”

(Daily Iowan)

Later, it was revealed that the leg lock performed was actually a jiu-jitsu move. However, it gets stranger, as a memorial site has begun to grow.

…friends and neighbors placed beer cans and other seemingly random items – a stick of butter, grapes – outside of Steward’s apartment door, which was emblazoned with: DEAD. The word was written thickly in black ink. Underneath it, a knife was jammed into the door.

(Daily Iowan)

Past enstallments of Austra Vs. Japan:

Part 1: The Reinhard Steinbauer Case

Part 2: 女子高生コンクリート詰め殺人事件 (or Concrete-Encased High School Girl murder)

Part 3: Akibara Massacre and Other Sharp Objects

Part 4: Odds and Ends

Part 5: Iowa Edition

Ryan