CBR is very proud to present our latest installment of STUDIO TOURS with a look at the home of the one and only Mike Allred! Unless you’ve been living under a rock or just don’t read any comics at all, you’re already familiar with the work of this gifted writer-artist. From the pages of his Harvey Award-winning indie hit “Madman” to Marvel Comics’ outrageous “X-Statix,” Allred has been livening up the comics scene for nearly two decades with his psychedelic pop art style and insanely idiosyncratic stories. In 2006, Allred released with Image Comics the “Madman Gargantua!”, a mammoth 852-page, full color hardcover collecting every Madman tale from across the character’s expansive publishing history. Allred’s new Madman adventures can be read in his new ongoing series, “Madman Atomic Comics,” the first issue of which ships next Wednesday from Image Comics.
By Mike Allred
Welcome to my secret headquarters! Going up the stairs into our studio space you can read a complete Harvey Kurtzman EC Comics story from the original art.
Turning right at the top of the stairs you go into what we call our "family room" studio since it overlooks the family room.
I love this drawing/light table. You might notice that almost every flat surface is covered with plexiglass so we can place inspirational art under our fingers tips wherever we’re working.
Here we can work while still being in touch with the kids hanging out below. To the left is some of my Alex Ross stuff including the giant poster we did together.
From my drawing table. We can also watch TV from up here. There’s even a drop down movie screen, so this is like having a studio in the balcony of our own movie theater. I keep a desk calendar nearby to keep track of what I get done each day.
This is where Laura works all her magical colors. Sometimes I’m allowed to play here too. Our giant scanner is behind the monitor. It’s an Epson 836XL. You wanna know this stuff, right?
Rotating from left to right looking out over the lake which is connected to the Pacific ocean.
In the upper left is our oversized printer, an HP Deskjet 9800. Oh yeah, and Laura’s fancy-shmancy Wizard fan award. Big deal! Like I need to look at that everyday!
The view from the studio. We’re pretty isolated. We get our mail by boat three times a week. I’m not kidding.
Continuing to rotate right you can get a glimpse of some favorite books, an original HARD DAY’S NIGHT poster and ticket (my favorite movie!), the last two original Bruno Premiani pages before the death of the original Doom Patrol, and a Chalres Vess print he gave our daughter and I swiped (I’ll give it back).
Turning right again you can see past my drawing table into our music studio (I’ll save that for some other time). On the easel is the Madman cover I did with Lil’ Stevey Rude.
Hey look! It’s a "Jimmy the idiot in space" toy in the corner! I play with him on breaks.
Down the hall into my private studio. To the immediate left is a huge original James Jean piece that I finagled with some of my art recently.
Looking down into the family room.
Hey, it’s Bond Allred doing what he does best (other than rockin’ the guitar)! In the upper right you can see an X-Force pin-up that Darwyn Cooke gave us. He actually stayed here a few days and left when we told him to.
A little art gallery along the way…Some more JJ, Kevin Nowlan, Cooke, Frank Quitely, and two pages form the mythical and still not released TEEN TITANS special I did with Jay Stephens and the late great Bob Haney.
…and the other side. Alex Toth, Mark Shultz, and other geniuses–you’ll just have to take my word for it.
We call this the "studio suite", my private domain.
My comic book rack. I wish I had a couple more of these babies. My original Frazetta Madman is seen in the upper left. You’d think I’d have a spotlight on it or in a vault somewhere. RELEASE THE HOUNDS!
Dvds and more Dvds. I’ve actually been getting rid of most of these anticipating that day in the not-too-distant-future when any move will be available at the touch of a button. Here you can see my Frank Cho Madman waiting to get hung up, and the ATOMICS piece Kevin Nowlan and I did together
Love this. It’s a bubble gum/card dispenser machine. for one penney you get a piece of bubble gum and a Madman trading card!
Spinning to the right, another madman bbble gum machine that dispences larger toys (y’know in the big plastic bubbles?). Her for a quarter you can get a Madman pin or button.
Going up a few stairs we find my private working area and more of my favorite books.
This is where I do most of my writing and penciling, when I need a little more "alone time".
A couple Kirby FF originals. Jealous?!
This is the "Bowen chair." Randy and Rocky Bowen gave this to us a few years ago, and it’s where I’ve done most of my writing since.
I stopped selling most of my originals a few years ago. This is where you aspiring art thieves should look first.
I’m thinking of selling more art since these drawers are getting pretty full.
Books! And my humble drawing table I made from scraps of my Dad’s old abandoned art table. It was HUGE and would have taken up most of this room.
Books and toys! Toys and books! The portfolio books on the lower left is where I keep the several dozen originals of MADMAN pin-ups when they aren’t taking their turn on the walls throughout the house.
On the wall you can see some Jaime Hernandez art including the VERY FIRST page of Mister X no.1! The book that made me shift gears and take a stab at a comic book career. You can also see Eric Powell’s Madman pin-up and Javier Pulido art.
I try to rotate my originals. Gotta give everyone a chance.
More goodies under plexiglass. There’s a cork board on the back side of the short bookcase for me to pin up scripts and reference.
And finally, looking back down the hallway to the stairs.
Now, GET OUT!!
All Allred fans should feel free to stop by CBR’s Community forum to discuss this and all our STUDIO TOURS. If you’ve missed any, check them out here:
- Joe Quesada
- Scott Kurtz
- Frank Cho
- Rick Remender
- Matt Haley
- Simone Bianchi
- Mark Waid
- Tony Moore
- Top Cow Studios
- David Lloyd
- Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon
- Mark Millar
- Mike Norton
- Andy Smith