This document is a FAQ for Mike and Laura Allred, the popular comic book team that created Madman and The Atomics. Currently, they are working on X-Statix for Marvel Comics, which is written by Peter Milligan.
Table of Contents

Questions About this FAQ Who do I blame?
Where can I find the latest version of this FAQ?

Artistic Where can I find a list of everything that they've done?
Where can I find original art?
What's with all of the references to British bands?
What is The Gear?
Is it true that Mike made movies?
Are there any really cool interviews with Mike out there?

Technical What kinds of art supplies does Mike use?
How does Laura do those spiffy colors?

Madman Who is Madman?
What was Madman's first appearance?
What comics has Madman appeared in?
Are there any reprints?
What order should I read the comics in?
Where does The Atomics fit into the Madman continuity?
What's the story of Madman's real name?
Will there be any more of Madman?

Red Rocket 7 Who is Red Rocket 7?
What was Red Rocket 7's first appearance?
What comics has Red Rocket 7 appeared in?
Are there any reprints?
Will there be any more of Red Rocket 7?

The Atomics Who are The Atomics?
What was The Atomics first appearance?
What comics have The Atomics appeared in?
Are there any reprints?
Will there be any more of The Atomics?

X-Force/X-Statix Who is X-Force/X-Statix?
When did the new team take over?
What comics have the new X-Force appeared in?
Are there any reprints?
What's Doop saying?
When and why did X-Force its name?



Questions About this FAQ

Who do I blame?

Jeremy Sheeley threw this FAQ together. If there's anything that's wrong or that you would like to see clarified, email allredfaq@yahoo.com.


Where can I find the latest version of this FAQ?

The latest version should always be at http://www.geocities.com/allredfaq.


Artistic

Where can I find a list of everything that they've done?

Their AAA Pop web site has an extensive gallery with lots of information. It's not the most complete list, but it's the prettiest to look at. Dan adds:
besides the aaa pop webiste, and other comprehensive place is the Fall 2000 issue of Comicology . it also includes pinups, inking, writing, and covers he's done.


Where can I find original art?

Mike doesn't sell individual pages of art anymore. If you want older stuff, www.ebay.com is a good place to start. If you want to marvel at other people's collection of original Allred art, check out these sites.


What's with all of the references to British bands?

Mike's a big fan of 1960s & 1970s British pop music. Some notable references are:
  • Mott from Hoople
    (first appearance Madman Comics #1) a British band active from 1969-1979. Get more info on the band at http://www.hunter-mott.com.
  • Mickey Tork (Bloke's real name - first appearance X-Force #117) is a combination of the names of two members of the Monkees. The Monkees was the made-for-TV American reaction to the popularity of The Beatles. Get more info on the band at http://www.monkees.net.
  • Frank Einstein's real name is a reference to two British bands. See this FAQ.


What is The Gear?

The Gear is Mike's band. They released two Red Rocket 7 inspired albums and a maxi-single. Here's what Dan tells me:
The Lineup:

Red Allrod- vocals, guitars, oddities
Micheal Hahn- bass, vocals
Connor Bond- drums, vocals

(don't quote me on this, but it seems pretty obvious it's mike and his kids in disguise judging on the pictures inside and the names (han and bond))

as far as what they've put out, according to the catalogue in the back of the cd booklet and the Red Rocket 7 Graphic Novel, Son of Red Rocket 7, "the rare Red Rocket 7 EP", and an "exclusive 4 song maxi single" are the only available recordings. all appear to be on visiontone records. the lost recordings added onto the LP "were the group's first recorded effort from winter 96-97"

where to get them:
i ordered mine from oni press, but it appears to also be distributed by dark horse. [try here for the "Son of Red Rocket 7" CD and here for the hardcover and CD -jeremy]it also says to visit visiontone.com (the label) but there doesn't seem to be a website for this address. 'the name has been reserved and a website may soon be coming' (although i doubt it).
it also says to order, send a check or money order to

Laura Allred
1950 Franklin Blvd. Box 26
Eugene, OR 97403

and lastly, some more useless information:
  • This LP was recorded at Deadbeat Studios, Eugene, OR
  • It was produced by Jamie S. Rich and Mike Allred
  • It's copyright 1998 Gear Are Go Music
  • T-shirts are available in L or XL for $15 and silk screened on muslin dolls are available also for $7 each (one for each band member)
  • I would describe their style as "space oddity rock and roll".
    From the liner notes, Nonja Bennes calls them "Mod Psych Pop" and claims, "[The album] captures moments that expand and resonate with each subsequent listen"
  • It seems as though the songs are all referenced some way in the graphic novel. (which i should mention go together with each other as well as Astroesque, the movie) i'm pretty sure the songs are also the soundtrack for Astroesque
The song list:
  1. Future Shock
  2. The Unchecked Ego
  3. Killer Elite
  4. Numb (Stay Awake)
  5. It was...Anonymous
  6. Subculture Superstar
  7. Throb
  8. Subtle Song
  9. The Growing Hole
  10. Hissing and Sobbing
Bonus EP
  1. Critc Proof
  2. Reckless Reasoning
  3. Black Narcissus
  4. The Vinyl is Black
  5. Astroesque
  6. Big World
  7. Stuffed Monkey (with its Face Chewed Off)
and on the maxi single:
  1. Black Narcissus
  2. The Vinyl is Black
  3. Stuffed Monkey
  4. Alpha Loves Omega
Also, check out the Ultrazine interview for a couple of samples of songs by The Gear.


Is it true that Mike made movies?

Yup. There are currently three Mike-related movies:
  • Astroesque (1996). Mike wrote and directed. It features appearances by many members of the Allred clan.
  • Eyes to Heaven (1998). Produced by and starring mike. The soundtrack is by the gear.
  • G-Men from Hell (2000). Based on his story that was started in Grafik Muzik, and later retold and finished in Madman Comics #16-#20. The DVD release of G-Men also has Astroesque on it. Not only that, but there's a commentary track by Mike and Laura. What a deal!
  • There's a Madman movie in the works. Robert Rodriguez will direct it, and has promised that it's on the way.

Are there any really cool interviews with Mike out there?

Yup. Lots! Here are some of the ones that I've found.


Technical

What kinds of art supplies does Mike use?

Quotes from the Mike Allred Board directly from Mike:
  • On inking word balloons and straight lines:
    I'll rule strait lines and draw balloons with a pencil then ink them freehand with a brush. Otherwise using pigma MICRON markers. They have flexibility, no mess, and permanent ink.

    Now, of course we're using ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR for lettering where Nate Piekos has worked overtime to give the computer lettering a hand lettered/brushine on the balloons look. Something to look into at some point.
    Note that Nate Piekos in the above quotation is the creator of BLAMBOT!, which has comics fonts and word baloons.
  • On his inking brush and ink:
    I was turned onto Windsor and Newton series 7 brushes ten years ago by Charles Burns. He uses a #3, as does Mark Schultz--I found myself most comfortable with a #1.

    I still try different cheaper brands quite often--have yet to find anything I like more.

    Also, Higgins Black Magic seems to be back to its classic formula. I was having to mix it with the too thick Speedball Superblack ink.
  • On pencils:
    Now for pencils--ANYTHING, I repeat--ANYTHING you like to draw with. Art pencils, a standard no.2, blue line-- anything you like. it DOESN"T matter. Ink is going over it anyway, and since I ink my own stuff, I use a Pentel clicker pencil. It draws lightly making erasing easy later and I never have to sharpen it. It doesn't make for beautiful pencils, but again, it's the inks that count and that's where the reward is. That's where the lines pop so make it count. So...
    Much of this information, along with more detail about anatomy and drawing can be found here.


How does Laura do those spiffy colors?

From Laura's post:
Simple really. I scan in Mike's inked pages at 1200 dpi and then reduce them to 800 dpi. Our printer told us (after we were disapointed in the resolution on a book) that this would give us the best resolution while still keeping the files at a workable size. The standard is 300 dpi. We've heard of countless ways of doing countless different things from other colorists. So there's ne right way or wrng way of doing things. Just what works best for you and your printer or publisher. We make certain concessions with Marvel, for instance.

I open the scanned pages and open them for color. It's no secret that i prefer flat colors so i don't do much with fancy brushes or filters. Use a lot of different layers , however, depending on the page and the effect Mike asks for.


Madman

Who is Madman?

Madman is a character created by Mike. Madman's origin story: A body killed in a car accident was taken to the home of Dr. Boiffard, who resurrected the body. Dr. Boiffard named him Frank Einstein (after Frank Sinatra and Albert Einstein). Frank became Dr. Boiffard's lab assistant, and met many new friends along his journey to find out who he was. Frank has super-human coordination, as well as a kind of precognition and insight.


What was Madman's first appearance?

Madman first appeared in the one-shot Creatures of the Id in a story called "For the Record".


What comics has Madman appeared in?

Madman's main appearances (not counting guest-starring in other comics):
  • Madman 1-3 (published by Tundra publishing). black, white and blue. 1992
  • Madman Adventures 1-3 (published by Tundra Publishing). full color 1992-1993
  • Madman Comics 1-20 (published by Dark Horse Comics). full color. 1994-present
  • Superman/Madman 1-3 (published by DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics). 1997
  • Nexus Meets Madman one-shot (published by Dark Horse Comics). 1996
  • Madman/The Jam 1-2 with Bernie Mireault (published by Dark Horse Comics). 1998
  • Madman Picture Exhibition 1-4 (published by AAA Pop Comics). A collection of Madman pinups by various famous artists. 2002


Are there any reprints?

Yup. The series were reprinted thusly:
  • Madman 1-3 (Tundra series). Reprinted as "The Oddity Odyssey" by Kitchen Sink Press and later reprinted by Oni Press.
  • Madman Adventures 1-3 (Tundra Series). Reprinted as "Madman Adventures" by Kitchen Sink Press and later reprinted by Oni Press. The Oni printing also includes a color version of Frank Einstein's first appearance in Creatures of the Id.
  • Madman: Two Trilogies. This special hardcover collects The Oddity Odyssey and Madman Adventures, together with lots of extras.
  • Madman Comics 1-5 (Dark Horse). Reprinted as "Yearbook 95" by Dark Horse. Though it is (as of March 2003) out of print, Mike has reported giving DarkHorse a new cover image to use when they reprint it. Expect the new printing to come later this year. Includes an introduction by Teller of Penn and Teller.
  • Madman Comics 6-10 (Dark Horse). Reprinted as "The Complete Madman Comics Vol 2" by Dark Horse. Includes an introduction by Kevin Smith.
  • Madman Comics 11-15 (Dark Horse). Reprinted as "Madman Comics 3: The Exit of Dr. Boiffard". Dan adds: "Judd Winick ( Real World San Francisco, Barry Ween/Pedro and Me author and illustrator) wrote the intro for this volume."
  • Madman Comics 16-20 (Dark Horse). Reprinted as "Madman Comics: Heaven and Hell". Includes an introduction by Steven T. Seagel.
  • Madman/Superman 1-3 (DC and Dark Horse). Reprinted as "Superman / Madman Hullabaloo!" by Dark Horse.
  • Nexus Meets Madman one-shot & Madman/The Jam 1-2 (Dark Horse). Reprinted as "Madman Boogaloo! Starring Nexus and Jam" by Dark Horse.
  • Madman Picture Exhibition 1-4 is being reprinted as a hard cover by Oni Press.


What order should I read the comics in?

The continuity is carried over between series, so it's best to read them in the right order (using the reprint names for the story arcs):
  • The Oddity Odyssey
  • Madman Adventures
  • Yearbook 95
  • Madman Vol 2
  • Madman Vol 3
  • Superman/Madman
  • Madman Vol 4
WHERE DO THE OTHER CROSSOVERS FIT IN?


Where does The Atomics fit into the Madman continuity?

The Atomics first appear as street beatnicks in Madman Comics #1. They begin to manifest super-powers in Madman Comics #15.


What's the story of Madman's real name?

Possible Spoilers. Frank Einstein finally uncovers his former identity in Madman Comics #16. His real name is Zane Townsend, and he was formerly an agent or Tri-Eye. Mike has confirmed that the first name Zane comes from the David Bowie song "All the Madmen". The last name Townsend most likely comes from Pete Townsend, the guitarist for The Who. Dan adds:
it seems pretty obvious that his name is a reference to Frankenstein. i mean a green, sewed up resurrected dead guy? he even had neck bolts for awhile!! also check out p.14 of Grafik Muzak #2, when he tells mike mattress his name.


Will there be any more of Madman?

Yup. Mike revealed that he's working on a Madman Annual. It should be out in 2003.


Red Rocket 7

Dan supplied much of this information. Thanks!

Who is Red Rocket 7?

Red Rocket 7 is 1 of seven clones of "the original", a man from the planet Celeston.


What was Red Rocket 7's first appearance?

Dan pointed out that the first appearance of RR7 was on a billboard on the cover to Madman Comics #11.


What comics has Red Rocket 7 appeared in?

RR7 appeared on the cover to Madman #11 (October 1996). RR7 also appeared on a billboard in Superman/Madman #1 (June 1997). Red Rocket 7 was released as a 7 issue miniseries by Dark Horse Comics (August 1997-June 1998).


Are there any reprints?

Yup. There are two collections, one softcover and one hardcover.


Will there be any more of Red Rocket 7?

Doubt it.


The Atomics

Who are The Atomics?

The Atomics is a super-team composed of former street beatnicks who were mutated when exposed to alien spores.


What was The Atomics first appearance?

They first appeared as street beatnicks in Madman Comics #1. They began to exhibit super-powers in Madman Comics #15, and formed a super-team in The Atomics #1.


What comics have The Atomics appeared in?

The Atomics primarily appeared in their own series The Atomics 1-15, published by AAA Pop comics. They are currently appearing in a series of one-shots produced by Oni Press and AAA Pop Comics. So far the following one-shots have been published:
  • It Girl (written by Mike Allred, art by Chynna Clugston-Major, and colors by Han Allred)
  • Spaceman (written by Mike Allred, painted backgrounds (and all supporting characters) by Lawrence Marvit, Spaceman drawn by Mike Allred, and colors by Laura Allred)
  • Mr. Gum (written by Mike Allred, art by J. Bone, colors by Han Allred)


Are there any reprints?

Yup. Each story arc was reprinted in the "King Size Giant Spectaculars"
  • Atomics 1-4 was reprinted as "Jigsaw!"
  • Atomics 5-8 was reprinted as "Lessons in Light, Lava, and Lasers!"
  • Atomics 6-12 was reprinted as "Worlds Within"
  • Atomics 13-15 was reprinted as "Running with the Dragon"
In addition, the entire series was reprinted as one Super-Deluxe Limited Edition Hardcover. Only 500 were produced.


Will there be any more of The Atomics?

While there won't be another Atomics series in a while, the one-shots should continue for the near future.


X-Force/X-Statix

Who is X-Force/X-Statix

X-Force/X-Statix is a celebrity super-team of mutants created by Mike and Peter Milligan for Marvel Comics. The original X-Force team was created by Rob Leifeld. The team that Mike and Peter created had no relation to the earlier team. There's lots of information about X-Force/X-Statix at the first fan page for the new team at: http://retroxpunk.comixtreme.com.


When did the new team take over?

The first appearance of the new team was X-Force #116.


What comics have the new X-Force appeared in?

X-Force appeared in X-Force 116-129.
X-Statix appears monthly in their own series starting at issue 1.


Are there any reprints?

Yup. So far, the reprints have been:
  • X-Force Vol. I: New Beginnings (reprints X-Force 116-120) ISBN: 0-7851-0819-X
  • X-Force Vol. II: Final Chapter TPB (reprints X-Force 121-129) ISBN: 0-7851-1088-7
  • X-Force: Famous, Mutant & Mortal HC (special hardcover that reprints X-Force 116-129) ISBN: 0-7851-1023-2
  • X-Statix Vol 1: Good Omens (reprints X-Statix 1-5) ISBN: 0-7851-1059-3
  • X-Statix Vol 2: Good Guys & Bad Guys (reprints X-Statix 6-10, Wolverine/Doop 1-2, and the Mike Allred/Nick Derington X-Statix story from X-Men Unlimited #41). ISBN: 0785111395


What's Doop Saying

In October 2001, Chris Griswold figured out that the font used for Doop's word balloons is a slight variation on the BLAMBOT! font named Roswell Wreckage. Chris made an image that mapped Roswell Wreckage symbols to their english letters. Using Chris's translator, you can interpret Doop's word balloons. The first page of the New Beginnings TPB has every Doopspeak character (the real ones that appear in the comics) in alphabetical order, so that might be a better key. Originally, Doop's dialog was thought to be "ad-libbed" by the letter, since it would be difficult to decipher. However, Nate at BLAMBOT!, who letters the X-Statix series reports that approximately 90% of Doop's dialog is in the script.
Note that Manolis has an archive of translated Doopspeak at his site http://retroxpunk.comixtreme.com


When and why did X-Force its name?

X-Force changed its name in July 2002 to X-Statix. There were many rumored reasons for the name change. The most accepted reason for the name change is to reward Mike and Peter's new direction by giving them a new title.


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