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Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns & Moonage Daydreams

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Inspired by the one and only superhero, extraterrestrial, and rock and roll deity in history, Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams is the original graphic memoir of the great Ziggy Stardust!

In life, David Bowie was one of the most magnetic icons of modern pop culture, seducing generations of fans with both his music and his counterculture persona. In death, the cult of Bowie has only intensified. As a musician alone, Bowie’s legacy is remarkable, but his place in the popular imagination is due to so much more than his music. As a visual performer, he defied classification with his psychedelic aesthetics, his larger-than-life image, and his way of hovering on the border of the surreal.

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams chronicles the rise of Bowie’s career from obscurity to fame; and paralleled by the rise and fall of his alter ego as well as the rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust. As the Spiders from Mars slowly implode, Bowie wrestles with his Ziggy persona. The outcome of this internal conflict will change not only David Bowie, but also, the world.

160 pages, Hardcover

First published January 7, 2020

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About the author

Mike Allred

669 books153 followers
Michael 'Doc' Allred (Also Credited as M. Dalton Allred) grew up in the 60's and 70's and was surrounded with the best in pop culture and a steady diet of music, movies and comic books including the three B's: Beatles, Bond and Batman to the point of obsession.

So it should come as no surprise that he keeps a hand in film and music (He's the lead singer and guitarist for The Gear), but comic books have always been a seminal source of joy for Mike and that joy remains the main ingredient in most of his work.

Allred first tasted success in the comics field with his wildly popular MADMAN series, which is currently being developed for a live action film with filmmaker Robert Rodriguez. His earlier work from GRAFIK MUZIK was turned into the cult hit movie G-Men from Hell directed by Christopher Coppola (featuring Robert Goulet as the Devil). Other work includes Red Rocket 7, his history of Rock and Roll told in the context of a sci-fi adventure storyl the Madman spin-off THE ATOMICS and his magnum opus, THE GOLDEN PLATES, where he's illustrating the entire Book of Mormon.

Mike counts the secret to his success to be his wife, and creative partner, Laura Allred, who is is considered to be one of the best colorists in the business.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 248 reviews
Profile Image for Josu Diamond.
Author 9 books33k followers
May 27, 2020
Una mirada interesante, aunque incompleta.

Para mi Trabajo de Fin de Grado necesito investigar sobre figuras similares a las de Lady Gaga a través de la Historia. No solo aquellas cuyas semejanzas sean obvias, sino las que le sirvieron de inspiración y las que allanaron el terreno. Obviamente, Bowie debía ser objeto de mi estudio.

En esta biografía ilustrada en forma de novela gráfica podemos encontrarnos la etapa de David Bowie donde comenzó su salto a la fama: las bandas de las que formaba parte, sus círculos de amistad, el nacimiento de su hijo, sus primeros conciertos, la creación algunos de sus personajes incónicos como Major Tom o Ziggy Stardust…

Me ha gustado el enfoque más centrado en los puntos no tan conocidos de su ascenso a la fama, pero he echado de menos que se hablase un poco más sobre quién era él como persona. No como icono, sino como persona. Sus sentimientos, miedos y sobre todo, su sexualidad. Hay un breve comentario sobre unas declaraciones que hizo en diferentes décadas sobre ella, pero no es suficiente y ni ahonda en lo importante que era un hombre andrógino que rompía con las normas establecidas del género siendo bisexual. ¡Es parte de lo que le hace ser el icono que es! ¡Un poquito de respeto!

Gaga le rinde homenaje en los Grammys en colaboración con tecnología vanguardista de Intel

Entiendo que se le haya querido hacer un acercamiento a la parte profesional, pero su estatus de leyenda o icono atemporal se basa en gran parte en su sexualidad y cómo experimentaba con ella, así como en su expresión de género. Es como obviar la orientación sexual de Freddie Mercury o Elton John haciendo un libro sobre su vida. No tiene sentido.

Sin embargo, quitando esa parte, me ha resultado una novela gráfica gratificante. Los colores son espectaculares, y la edición le acompaña muy bien. Es gran formato y hace que los textos y las ilustraciones resalten muchísimo. Hay páginas que son para enmarcar, con collages increíbles que mezclan diferentes looks o performances que dio Bowie en su ascenso a la fama allá por finales de los 70 y principios de los 80. En ese sentido, mis dieces a todo el equipo.

David Bowie haciendo gala de su pluma

Como comento, me ha decepcionado no ver más reflejado algo de su vida privada, así como que no se mencionaran explícitamente las repercusiones que su imagen tuvo en el mundo. Está demasiado centrado en la música (quién tocaba la guitarra en cada canción, qué conciertos dio y dónde, con quién habló para firmar un contrato, etc), y personalmente me parece que se ha perdido una gran oportunidad. Aunque, si os interesa Bowie y especialmente su música, creo que es indispensable.
Profile Image for Scott.
1,748 reviews123 followers
October 10, 2020
"Because music brings people together. It makes them feel something that they wouldn't otherwise feel . . . it speaks to the listener in ways that even the songwriter and musicians would never have intended." -- conversation scene between 'Ziggy Stardust' and David Bowie

The graphic novel Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns & Moonage Daydreams focuses mainly on the years 1969-1974 in the man's storied career, from when he issued his initial and self-titled two albums to lukewarm response and then quickly becoming an international glam-rock superstar with a string of blockbuster releases including Hunky Dory, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, and Aladdin Sane. Stylistically this is a great book to just page through - I loved the colorful and bold illustrations, which certainly fit well with Bowie's many otherworldly personas and the early 70's setting. The Forrest Gump-aspect is also used (or overused, depending on your point of view) to great effect, with Bowie not unreasonably rubbing elbows with countless celebrities from the show-biz world during those early years. However, said illustrations and cameo appearances can only count for so much in the end - it's not a very in-depth to be considered a biography, and it seems content with maintaining only a relatively superficial level of detail on the subject matter.
Profile Image for Rod Brown.
5,300 reviews173 followers
May 1, 2020
Perfect if you want to know every famous person David Bowie ever met and see every outfit he ever wore while touring during the 1970s. Not the right book if you want to know anything about David Bowie as a person. The authors have lots of factoids but almost no insights to offer.

The art is nice and colorful, if a bit stiff from the obvious dependence on photo-referencing.
Profile Image for Gabrielle.
996 reviews1,134 followers
April 25, 2023
After spending an evening riveted to my television watching “Moonage Daydream”, a recent documentary on David Bowie (which I highly recommend, though it must be noted that it is an unusual format of documentary, with no voice-over narration – just hypnotically edited footage of live performances, interviews and random bits of movies – and trippy AF), I was reminded of this comic book/biography that had been sitting on my shelf for some time, and I immediately picked it up.

I know it’s pretty common place to say that one adores David Bowie – he was the highest selling recording artist in the world for a significant part of his career, so his appeal was obviously not fringe – but he has a special place in my heart, for teaching me that it was OK to be myself unapologetically and wear whatever the fuck I liked, that one could be a literal rock-god/alien and still be incredibly well-read and amazingly kind. He has always been inspiring to me, as an artist, creator and human and I can’t believe I let this book gather dust as look as I did.

This book is by no means a comprehensive biography, but it attempts to cover the early part of Bowie’s career and his reinvention of himself as Ziggy Stardust. It covers his first band all the way to “Let’s Dance”, documenting his tours, his collaborators, his relationships and his experiments with music and art in general.

The highlight is the absolutely stunning artwork by Michael and Laura Allread: it is a delight for the eyes, the line work clean and confident, the colors popping vividly. They clearly had so much fun drawing Bowie and his ever-changing look and creative styles. From a narrative perspective, it’s a little meandering and incomplete, but it really is such a pleasure to leaf through as you blast what are (arguably) Bowie’s best records in the background.
Profile Image for Beth Barnett.
Author 9 books5 followers
January 23, 2020
It tries to do too much in too few pages, and never manages to find it's subject's soul.
Profile Image for Noah King.
32 reviews1 follower
January 11, 2020
I really wish this site would let you do half star ratings, because I feel like a 2.5 would be more appropriate for how I feel about this book. I don’t love it, I don’t hate it, it’s square in the middle. The reason I’m leaning more towards liking it is the art, you can tell this is a clear passion project for Mike Allred and co. His love for the music and iconography of Bowie is super evident on each page and it’s all lovingly rendered. The afterward gives some more insight into his Bowie obsession, claiming that this book is essentially a gift to his younger self who listened to Diamond Dogs way back in 74. That’s the audience here at the end of the day, the young voracious comic readers who are just opening themselves up to the world of music and want a crash course into one of the mediums greatest minds. It fulfills that purpose well, but as a fan myself, I was left wanting a bit more.

I’m not saying you have to cover every aspect of Bowie’s life and make some depressing portrait of ego and the lows of rock and roll excess but something about this just felt disconcertingly, clean? It’s a book curiously free of swearing, free of drugs, free of sex. Albums and iconic moments seem to just be plucked out of thin air, very rarely exploring what got Bowie to those places emotionally. It eagerly jumps from one set piece moment of Bowie’s life to the next, in a very dry way writing wise. This is most apparent in the dialogue. At times it honest to god feels like reading a Wikipedia page. Really, the first thing you’re going to do when Lou Reed is introduced is have him play Perfect Day and have this cartoonishly naive sounding Bowie go “gee whiz, this is just great!” and express interest in producing an entire album on the spot. Oh, Reed also (totally unprompted), specifically mentions loving “Queen Bitch” in this scene, which was famously Bowie’s attempt at doing a Velvet Underground song. It’s just soooo fan fiction-y and honest to god a bit embarrassing how this book is written during moments like this. Given everything we know about Reed and his prickly personality, I have a hard time believing this interaction was as pleasant as displayed here. Also, wasn’t much of the music on Perfect Day arranged by Mick Ronson after this meeting anyway? That just seemed odd to me.

The book frustratingly glosses over the later, arguably much more dramatically interesting moments of Bowie’s life such as his recovery period in Berlin with Iggy Pop. There’s so much more meat to that story then focusing on the glam, and even if they did just want to stick with Ziggy, there was more that could’ve been explored there as well. It just plays like a greatest hits set of his life, which gets really boring to read after a while. Like I said before the art is very good and quite frankly carries the book. If you want a bright, colorful tribute, this’ll do you well. But in the storytelling department it is barebones at best.

Profile Image for Francesca.
98 reviews30 followers
March 4, 2020
Che meraviglia!
Potrei parlare per ore di questa graphic novel e sul perché é così importante per me. Major Tom, Ziggy Stardust, Alladin Sane, Halloween Jack, the White Thin Duke sono solo alcune delle maschere indossate da David Bowie nel corso della sua lunga e prolifica carriera. Cantante, musicista, autore, attore, mimo, pittore sono solo alcuni dei molti talenti di questo uomo, la cui creatività ha raggiunto picchi altissimi. Egli però non ha solo rivoluzionato il rock, ha anche sradicato tutti gli stereotipi legati al genere maschile e tutti i tabù sulla sessualità con il suo alter ego Ziggy Stardust, alieno androgino e sessualmente ambiguo, venuto sulla terra per portare una nuova fase del rock. Questa graphic novel riprende solo la prima parte della carriera di Bowie fino al suo ultimo concerto come Ziggy Stardust mentre il resto è riassunto in poche pagine disegnate magnificamente. Come non parlare poi dei disegni? Assolutamente perfetti nei colori e nel tratto, hanno un impatto visivo notevole che rende una sola tavola disegnata più efficace di mille parole.
Un'altra cosa che ho apprezzato moltissimo è stata la presenza dei moltissimi artisti presenti sulla scena anni '70 citati come fonte di ispirazione per Bowie. Qui troviamo citati artisti come i Queen, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, i Velvet Underground, gli Stooges, i Rolling Stones, gli Who, i Pink Floyd, Elton John, Elvis Presley, i T. Rex, Alice Cooper e molti altri. Mi sono innamorata di quest'atmosfera anni '70, un' epoca che mi ha sempre affascinato e in cui mi sarebbe tanto piaciuto vivere.
Consiglio questa graphic novel ai fan di Bowie e in generale agli amanti della musica.
Profile Image for Marijana ☕✨.
466 reviews87 followers
November 19, 2022
Vizuelno prelepo putovanje koje nažalost nije zaokruženo – u fokusu ove grafičke novele je „uspon i pad Zigija Stardasta“, tako da pretpostavljam da postoji mogućnost da dobijemo nastavak.
Kada sam videla da je Nil Gejmen upleten i da je napisao predgovor, znala sam da je ovo rezultat rada ogromnih fanova.
Priča sama po sebi nije ništa posebno – činjenice iz Bouvijeve biografije, susreti sa ostalim velikanima rok scene, kultni trenuci, nastupi i fotografije. Opet kažem, vizuelno je prelepo i zaista je vredno da se nađe u kolekciji svakoga ko obožava lik i delo Zvezdanog čoveka. 💙⚡
Profile Image for Andy Burns.
Author 19 books7 followers
November 13, 2019

I grew up on rock and roll and comic books.

It sounds like a lyric, right? Maybe it is because my experience certainly wasn’t a solo one. Often times, those loves would intersect, like with Rock and Roll Comics, published by Revolutionary Comics in the early 1990s. The black and white books were totally unauthorised histories of some of the most prominent artists in music – the Rolling Stones and ACDC, the Grateful Dead and Bon Jovi; The Beatles and Pink Floyd even had mini-series devoted to their tales. The art was decent if not spectacular, but the histories contained were reasonably accurate, at least for the time. In the ensuing decades, the merger of the two mediums has only gotten stronger, with visual artists putting out volumes of higher quality devoted to legends like Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. For me, though, no combination has proved more exciting, more perfect than the story of David Bowie and the artistry of Mike Allred.

I love David Bowie. I’m a fan of all of his work, though later albums like Black Tie, White Noise, Outside and Earthling have special places in my heart – those were the ones I came in on. I saw Bowie in concert three times – one with two thousand others in a sweat-drenched club on the Earthling tour; once on the Area 2 tour, where I leaned on the stage and watched a master at play right before my eyes; and on his final tour, in an arena, performing songs from throughout his career. A new Bowie record was a day and day listen for me, to hear what he’d come up now, and see how he’d ch-ch-changed his game. His final offering, Blackstar, remains on rotation here. I have a Blackstar tattoo on my arm, which I got a week or two following his passing.

And then there’s Mike Allred. I love Mike Allred’s work, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I came to it probably later than most. It wasn’t with Madman, his revered creator-owned character, but with the massive gigantic X-Statix Omnibus from Marvel that collected the various mutant series Allred worked on with writer Peter Milligan. Allred has this uncanny ability in his art to combine cartoon and real life. I won’t dwell on trying to describe his talents, other than to say you instantly know when you’re looking at a Mike Allred illustration. Along with his comic book art, I think my favourite piece by Allred was his cover for The Monkees’ Christmas Party album. He even made the video for ‘Unwrap You At Christmas’.

As you can imagine, Allred’s BOWIE: Stardust, Rayguns & Moonage Daydreams is an absolute dream come true for me. In this gorgeous hardcover graphic novel, Allred (credited here as Michael) and his co “Screenwriter” Steve Horton and “Technicolor Cinematographer” Laura Allred trace Bowie’s career from his earliest days as an aspiring folkie through to his Ziggy Stardust period alongside the Spider From Mars. Along the way, we watch Bowie as he encounters some of the brightest rock stars of the era, as Allred puts his distinctive illustrative touch to icons like Freddie Mercury, Alice Cooper and Lou Reed.

Allred’s work, to my eyes, has always possessed a healthy dose of psychedelia to it – the colours, the faces – and here in BOWIE it all comes together in the trippiest graphic novel this side of Jack Kirby’s classic Fantastic Four and Fourth World tales. While the book itself only focuses on less than a decade of David Bowie’s inspiring career, that’s probably a good thing, as the story never loses its focus. Had Allred and company aspired to do Bowie’s entire life, well, we’d probably still be waiting for that particular book. However, Allred does feature a few pages I’d consider a wrap-up, focusing on images of post- Ziggy Bowie, and there’s where some of my favourites instances sit (the Twin Peaks cameos are the highlights there). Really though, every page of BOWIE is poster-worthy.

As I said earlier, there have been other books that meld comics with rock and roll. None of them, though, have done it so seamlessly and so attractively as BOWIE: Stardust, Rayguns & Moonage Daydreams does. For fans of David Bowie, Mike Allred, rock and roll, comics and art, this is a must-have purchase.
Profile Image for Elizabeth (Miss Eliza).
2,252 reviews138 followers
February 9, 2020
The art is phenomenal in that it perfectly captures everyone, Bowie in particular, but after awhile you start to think, they look a bit too like photographs and could have been collaged or directly lifted from images of the period... add to that the fact that each page is jammed with SO MUCH imagery, there's no place for the eye to rest, it's too frantic. Too much. Like a fan magazine from back in the day instead of a very ambitious graphic novel. Also don't get me started on the placement of the text. It's horrid and also confusing in it's flow. But the fatal flaw of this book is it's narrative structure. Lifting directly from Velvet Goldmine starting with the "death" of Ziggy and then looping back to cover how we got there instead of the depth of the film it feels more of a list of things that happened. This album was released this date, this person was met this date, this and this and this without any heft. I felt it was for Bowie zealots and not for the beginners. Which the authors are. So look at the art, look at the obvious love that went into it, but look too at the fact it's very very flawed.
Profile Image for Javier Muñoz.
791 reviews70 followers
February 3, 2020
Cómic biográfico basado en la época de la vida de David Bowie que va desde sus inicios en el mundo de la música hasta su momento de mayor fama con la publicación de Diamond Dogs.

El guión es correcto y está repleto de información y detalles interesantes de la vida del artista, pero la verdadera razón para leer y releer este cómic es el espectacular dibujo de Michael Allred, muy pocos dibujantes son capaces de plasmar el mundo de la música popular del siglo XX, las imágenes icónicas, el vestuario, los instrumentos, la apariencia y las expresiones de los grandes de la música como Mike Allred, para lograrlo es necesario haberse empapado del arte de las carátulas de los discos, de las entrevistas y reportajes fotográficos, de los carteles, del merchandising en general... esto no es fruto de una labor de investigación puntual, es la pasión de toda una vida. Además si hablamos de Bowie, Allred es fan incondicional del duque blanco desde su infancia, dio sus primeros pasos en el cómic creando y dibujando aventuras de Ziggy stardust, que luego darían lugar a una de sus grandes obras, red rocket 7.

En resumen, es difícil imaginar un dibujante más adecuado para plasmar la vida de Bowie en viñetas, las páginas de este cómic van desde el realismo más exacto hasta los aspectos más excesivos y extravagantes que se relacionan con la imaginería de los mundos y conceptos propuestos por Bowie, siempre con un gran respeto y una fidelidad al artista y a lo que quiso expresar en sus canciones fuera de toda duda. Un gran cómic para los profanos y un regalo para los fans.
Profile Image for Richard Gray.
Author 2 books19 followers
January 26, 2020
I remember where I was when Bowie died, more or less. It was 30,000 feet in the air somewhere between San Francisco and Sydney. The pilot made the announcement over the PA, and I wanted the people around me to keenly feel the sharp shock as much as we did. David Bowie’s songs, much like The Beatles, are hardwired into our DNA at this point. So, this comic book biography crossed into so many of my wheelhouses that I was genuinely excited to see him “live” again. I’ve been following Steve Horton’s writing since Amala’s Blade, and Mike and Laura Allred’s work is unsurpassed. Much of the latter’s appeal came directly from their work on his Bowie-inspired Red Rocket 7 which infused much of this book. It’s a shame that this bio - which covers Bowie’s early career to the “death” of Ziggy Stardust - doesn’t have the same narrative energy of either Horton or Allred’s previous work. Much of the book simply lists off events like a Wiki page. The art shines, of course, and there are a few sequences (such as Bowie interacting with other versions of himself) that show the promise of what a Bowie GN could be. As it stands, this is a beautifully rendered art album that’s a mere snapshot of the complex and avant-garde journey of Bowie from man to spider from Mars.
Profile Image for Jacob A. Mirallegro.
217 reviews1 follower
February 20, 2020
Pretty good, some of the dialogue was really on the nose but I can tell this book isn't supposed to be completely literal so it's fine, just kinda took me out of it. I wish there was a bit more depth or emotional weight to it but oh well. at the very least it's a stunningly drawn art book of cool looking David Bowie in various iconic looks throughout that era. Mike Allred's drawing are so good and I just love looking at them, his artwork is so perfect for Bowie it's so appealing to look at. A cool surprise was the amount of other British stars that make cameos like Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, even the Monty Python crew, seeing them drawn by Allred was a wonderful treat. All in all it's worth checking out if you're a David Bowie fan, just don't expect an insanely detailed and straight story of his Ziggy years, but more a pretty book celebrating the nostalgia and visual look of those years.
Profile Image for Bryan.
Author 57 books15 followers
January 23, 2020
Best thing Mike and Laura Allred have ever done. And they have done some amazing things. Just absolutely gorgeous.
Profile Image for Carlos J. Eguren.
Author 19 books137 followers
January 30, 2020


Biografía en formato de cómic de los primeros años de Bowie hasta el suicidio de Ziggy Stardust, su personaje sobre el escenario. Impresionante el trabajo de los Allred con el dibujo y el color, grandes fans de Bowie, a través de la historia de Horton, que se compone de saltos entre páginas y curiosidades de la vida del artista. Para fans.
Profile Image for El desván del lector.
159 reviews46 followers
June 16, 2021
“There's a Starman waiting in the sky. He’d like to come and meet us, but he thinks he'd blow our minds”

Ha sido la primera novela gráfica que termino y la verdad es que me ha fascinado, tanto la historia, que me atrapó desde el principio (la leí prácticamente en un día), como la experiencia de leer el género.
En esta novela gráfica descubriremos los inicios de David Bowie en la música y la historia detrás de la creación de uno de sus alter ego más famosos, “Ziggy Stardust”, y de la banda que le acompañaba, “Las arañas de Marte”.
La novela es muy amena de leer, con muchos toques de humor y grandes referencias musicales. Las ilustraciones son una autentica maravilla, muy bien hechas, y encajan a la perfección con la personalidad del artista y de su alter ego.
Es una obra llena de perspicacia, ingenio y color, mucho color, sin duda, la mejor manera de contar una historia relacionada con el artista más camaleónico de la historia: David Bowie.

A rasgos generales, es un libro que recomiendo encarecidamente a todo fan de David Bowie que quiera conocer parte de su historia de una forma muy amena y entretenida.
La experiencia de leer novela gráfica ha sido muy satisfactoria y estoy deseando leer más obras del género, entre ellas V de Vendetta, que vi hace poco la película y me encantó.

Valoración: 4.5/5.
Profile Image for Michael.
544 reviews122 followers
September 3, 2020
Five stars for the fantastic art work and my favourite subject matter - David Bowie - which are sufficient for me to overlook the lacklustre writing, flat dialogue and superficial, trivia-laden storyline.

Despite its shortcomings, this is a book I'll return to for its style, I just wish it had more substance.
Profile Image for Joe.
69 reviews1 follower
September 22, 2020
I was massively let down by this. As other reviews have stated, this is more of a book about the famous people that Bowie met/played with/knew. It has some biographical elements to it but it's pretty thin and most of the stuff in it could probably have been sourced from Wiki or other internet sources. The art is gorgeous and about the only thing that helps it hold up at all.
Profile Image for Rafaela Oliveira.
1,031 reviews7 followers
January 3, 2021
Super hommage à David Bowie. Ça fait nostalgique pour les fans et digne de son art.
Profile Image for ▫️Ron .
284 reviews
November 18, 2021
Sadly, but also magically, this book falls square into flawed masterpiece territory.

The final product is ponderous.

The first half of the book reads like a serious attempt to write a biography - mostly in images. Then the number of splash pages continues to grow, and the story thins, and you realize that something changed about the intention. What would earlier have been a relatively dense pair of pages describing early relationships, and chronology, becomes a pair of pin-up pages of Elvis (you read that right). What earlier in the book would have been about Bowie's relationships and working process and developing popularity - and the interesting circumstances that launched his image - becomes several pages covered with single-panel repetitive images from individual stops on a single concert tour.

The biography is Bowie's early years, to some extent - and then almost exclusively the tour for The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Then it just ends, after two or three spreads of awkward ill-defined wordless montages that make it plain that 75% of David Bowie's life and career will go unaddressed. The funding or publisher support or creative team dynamics must have dissolved after the first half of the book - and it seems to have then become an effort to get it wrapped up and minimize the disappointment to the readership. There is also a "cover gallery", that doesn't include the book's cover... so I guess it was originally planned to be released as a comic book series rather than the final form that made it into our hands.

And that's the tragedy. Bowie is soo much more than Ziggy Stardust. Allred points out how he bonded with Neil Gaiman over discussion of Diamond Dogs... and diamond dogs is a one page afterthought in this volume. Thankfully The Man Who Sold the World and Hunky Dory get some coverage - but it's awkward. Everything is treated as the build-up to Ziggy Stardust... then Ziggy's era is identified by his haircut (Aladdin Sane, and Pin-Ups being placed under the umbrella of ZS - huh?).

I think Mike Allred's passion project hit production, editorial, and collaboration walls that compromised the intention. It hurts that the work couldn't become what it could have been. He leaves a pair of tiny half-hearted notes like "that's another story" or "if we can do future volumes"... but this is long after you've invested yourself in the promise of the cover blurb, which is that this is a biography. Not 25% of a biography.

It is well illustrated, Allred's heart as absolutely and strongly in the right place, but it didn't get the support it deserved on the front end, and now we won't know (any time soon) how amazing it could have been. Extra sadly - if it had been allowed to be what it could have been, it may very well have skyrocketed a wholly new and profitable and passionate era of music biography comics. The audience absolutely exists - it just needed a chance to eat up the product, and cutting this project short will discourage that trust and financial investment.

Flawed masterpieces are fascinating and valuable, and if the world is a remotely fair place - may someday give birth to proper masterpieces. In fairness to readership, fans, creators, and Bowie himself - I can't go beyond 3 stars. First half is a 5, second half is a 2. I love Mike Allred for his effort, and Neil Gaiman for his effort to boost it (exactly like Bowie floated effort to boost Mott the Hoople out of their downward trajectory).

PS - The 3 star rating becomes even more palatable when you look into some comparative biographies and see that there are several misrepresentations in this book. His marriage to Angie is far more complicated than represented here. His astounding drug use and number of near death experiences is sanitized for the reader. His sexuality is painted over - with an attempt by Gaiman to amend the important oversight slipped into the introduction. Humanity, life, art and posterity demand honesty. Actually tempted to rate it down to a 2 at this point, but I'll let the 3 stand.
Profile Image for Alain Gutierrez.
142 reviews3 followers
January 18, 2020
While the writing leaves a little to be desired the art is amazing and more then makes up for it. A must have for any comic book and/or Bowie lover
Profile Image for Mike Gibas.
105 reviews1 follower
February 5, 2020
Bowie, of all performers, seems perfectly placed to have his life rendered in a graphic novel. And, of all the modern artists out there at the moment, Michael Allred seems to be the perfect choice with his lovely retro artwork oozing influences such as Kirby and Ditko.

As a piece of artwork this is a 5-star book. As a piece of graphic novel storytelling it probably only scratches two stars. The problem is that the research has overpowered any sense of story or character.

It is impeccably researched, but we end up with a lot of scenes and anecdotes that are recreated from photographic sources. This gives the effect of a scrapbook or a collage. We have plenty of on stage Bowie poses recreated; album art recreated; film and TV performances recreated, etc, etc. While all of these pages are colourful and somewhat psychedelic they never ever tell a story, nor do they really capture Allred’s genuinely crazy imagination.

One can only assume that Allred was too overawed by his subject to be critical or even creative. Which is a shame — one can only wonder what would have happened if he had injected something original into this narrative. Like the Agatha book had Agatha talking to Poirot, it maybe would have been nice to see David Jones communicating with Ziggy Stardust, Major Tom or The Thin White Duke. It would just have been nice to meet David Jones and know his family — why did he seem to live in a huge mansion? — and understand more about who he was and not just a list of his achievements and a list of the famous people he met.

As a souvenir it is impressive and beautifully illustrated. As a ‘story” — Allred calls it a ‘screenplay’ — it really doesn’t work at all.
Profile Image for Guilherme Smee.
Author 20 books113 followers
November 30, 2020
Ninguém melhor que Michael Allred para compor uma graphic novel ou história em quadrinhos sobre o camaleão do rock David Bowie. O quadrinista vem trabalhando sobre a efígie do artista desde seu começo de carreira tendo coroado ela com o álbum Red Rocket 5, em que traz um personagem calcado em Ziggy Stardust, uma das personas de David Bowir. Dito isso, preciso dizer que existe um esmero incrível na arte de Allred que torna o trabalho feito em Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns & Moonage Daydreams com um dos melhores de seus trabalhos com arte. Contudo, a história que é contada no álbum segue o burocrático, é bastante descritiva da vida de Bowie, mas sem os textos profundos que os quadrinhos auto biográficos e biográficos conseguem ter. É claro que o esforço da narrativa visual de Allred compensa essa escrita sem sal e por isso que o álbum tem esse formato maior e mais portentoso. Aqui no Brasil saiu em capa dura e é mais nessa linha que ele segue um coffee table book que fica na mesa do centro da sala atraindo as visitas enquanto se conversa com elas. Simples no teor pejorativo da palavra e funcional no teor qualitativo da expressão.
Profile Image for Caden.
253 reviews
January 19, 2020
This was really fantastic. A slice of Bowies life with amaziny done art filling the pages and with a little bit of Si fi action with Ziggy Stardust. (And also an introduction by Neil Gaiman- LOVE)
Overall got me to put the Starmans music back on repeat.
Profile Image for Ashley Beery.
Author 2 books6 followers
January 26, 2020
I guess as non hardcore Bowie fan, the book was a little weird. It jumped all over the place. The artwork was great, but the story just didn't flow for me.
Profile Image for Chalupa Batman.
276 reviews
June 5, 2021
ehh...art was just okay & I found rhe book to be all over the place & very superficial.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 248 reviews

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