Bowie
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.

Bowie Details

TitleBowie
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 7th, 2020
PublisherInsight Comics
ISBN-139781683834489
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Comics, Biography, Nonfiction, Music, Graphic Novels Comics

Bowie Review

  • Andy Burns
    January 1, 1970
    https://biffbampop.com/2019/11/13/bow...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 https://biffbampop.com/2019/11/13/bow...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.
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  • Noah King
    January 1, 1970
    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 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.
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  • tony dillard jr
    January 1, 1970
    Goodreads list this book as being by Steve Horton, but Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns and Moonage Daydreams is ultimately Michael Allred's baby!Having read Michael Allred's Red Rocket 7, about an extraterrestrial rock God come to save the earth, I already had the notion that Michael Allred was destined to be David Bowie's visual biographer. It was just a matter of time when he would fulfill it. That when was revealed recently in the amazing graphic novel Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns and Moonage Daydreams. Goodreads list this book as being by Steve Horton, but Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns and Moonage Daydreams is ultimately Michael Allred's baby!Having read Michael Allred's Red Rocket 7, about an extraterrestrial rock God come to save the earth, I already had the notion that Michael Allred was destined to be David Bowie's visual biographer. It was just a matter of time when he would fulfill it. That when was revealed recently in the amazing graphic novel Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns and Moonage Daydreams.In the summer of 2019, Mike Allred announced his plans for a David Bowie biographical graphic novel. I was automatically on board with hit with the news. Red Rocket 7 read so much like an adaptation of David Bowie's sci-fi classic movie, The Man Who Fell to Earth. Allred's rock opera, also spans the entire history of rock and roll. While you can see the Madman Creator's love for music throughout; the scenes where Rocket meets David Bowie are where you feel the most connected. For Mike Allred is clearly a fan of Bowie!Back to last summer. I follow Michael Allred and his equally talented wife, Laura, on social media. One day I was scrolling down my feed when I was struck by this beautiful black and white sketch of the Starman himself in the style of Allred. I knew that this scene didn't appear in Red Rocket 7. Where did it come from? Imagine my surprise as the image was the first preview for the new Bowie biography! My wishes had been granted!Over the course of about 6 months, a new sketch would pop up on my social media feed pretty regularly, showing the progression of this project. This began a lengthy countdown to last week when the book finally debuted in stores. And I was first in line for a copy!Stardust, Rayguns and Moonage Daydreams focuses on the early years of Bowie's career. From having to change his name in order not to be confused with a member of the Monkees all the way through the creation of Bowie's personas of Ziggy Stardust and later Aladdin Sane, this is a whirlwind history of the early days of glam rock.Helping Michael Allred with research and co-scripting duties is Steve Horton (Amala’s Blade). Horton does a great job introducing the reader to the entire lineup of the pioneers of glam. But it's Allred's talented hand that brings heavenly icons such as the late Bowie as well as Marc Nolan, Mick Ronson and Freddie Mercury back to life. With such a large cast of characters, especially in those large group scenes, a ‘Who's Who’ in the appendices would have been appreciated.This book is very much an Allred project. One of Michael Allred's favorite motifs is the use of the third eye. In much of Allred's work, the third eye is used as a New Age portal between other worlds or dimensions of consciousness. In this book, the third eye is the Stargate between David Bowie the man and his creative process which evolves into Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.Another example that makes this book a very Allred project is the presence of Laura Allred. Laura has been Michael's longtime colorist and sometimes inker. Her amazing palette makes Bowie's world so colorful and at times ethereal. This graphic novel was a visual delight. So many images of the Starman looked so real. This might be graphic novel blasphemy but I would kill for Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns and Moonage Daydreams to be made into an animated movie. Not that the artwork of the Allreds was lacking a fluidity of motion. It's just that the biggest missing piece to this rock and roll tapestry was the music. Couldn't a Kindle version of this book be released with a soundtrack? Minus the tunes, Bowie was still a complete sensory adventure into the creative process. Be sure not to overlook the loquacious tribute from Neil Gaiman at the beginning. To gloss over the sketchbook and Michael's afterword would be an equal disservice to the reader.An intergalactic playlist for the soul. It's only January! But 2020 is going to have a difficult time coming up with something to beat this book for graphic novel of the year.Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns and Moonage Daydreams debuted on January 8th, 2019! If you can't find this in the graphic novel section of your local bookstore, check the music books section. That's where I found my copy!
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  • Richard Gray
    January 1, 1970
    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 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.
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  • Jacob A. Mirallegro
    January 1, 1970
    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 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.
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  • Catherine Siemann
    January 1, 1970
    A visual treasure -- the friend who gave me this as a present isn't even a Bowie fan, and she had to read it before giving it to me -- absolutely stunning artwork. Covers Bowie's career from its inception to the end of the Ziggy Stardust era. I only hope there will be more -- the final pages give a quick flashforward through the rest of his career and I'd love to see that in this format as well.
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  • Amanda K
    January 1, 1970
    Awesome! Hits all the right notes for a whirlwind tour of Ziggy while working in some cool anecdotes and hints of the rest of Bowie's varied life and music. If you don't have a mental soundtrack while reading this then you need to put on an album! The art is beautiful and encapsulates the zany imagery that got me into Bowie's music!
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  • Craig Little
    January 1, 1970
    A fantastical look at Bowie's life, especially the Ziggy Stardust years drawn, written, and researched beautifully.That said, don't expect a biography. This is a loving hagiography written by and for fans that doesn't get into the darker aspects of sex, drugs, and rock-'n'-roll as they intersected Bowie's life.
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  • Bonnie G.
    January 1, 1970
    This book is beautiful and thoughtful and a great idea. The execution is pretty great but it does vaguely remind me of Hedwig and the Angry Inch a bit? Also I felt kinda annoyed that I wasn’t sure who everyone is- a super fan will love this book a bit more than I will since I didn’t know who I was supposed to identify in large scenes. Overall a beauty and a gift for a super David Bowie fan.
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  • Charlie Rose
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Mari
    January 1, 1970
    Gorgeous, beautifully written and beautifully drawn. I can't think of a better way to express the art of David Bowie's work - his music, writing, acting - then in this form. I loved it so much, I bought more copies to give as gifts for friends and family who are also huge fans.
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  • eric garza
    January 1, 1970
    Adored this book. A beautiful and wonderfully realized telling of the rise of the Starman. Gorgeous art by Mike Allred brought to life with Laura Allred’s colors. This book is amazing. Read it loud and follow along with Bowie’s music in the background for maximum experience.
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  • Trevor
    January 1, 1970
    Michael and Laura Allred are my favorite art team in the comic book world. David Bowie is my all time favorite musical artist. The only way this could be more made for me is if David Lynch directed a movie version.
  • Christian Lipski
    January 1, 1970
    A love letter to glam rock and its brightest luminary. Allred's art is the perfect medium to tell the story of Ziggy Stardust. Brilliantly researched and written by Steve Horton, and colored to a gem like sheen by Laura Allred. To be read at maximum volume.
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  • Lindsey Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    Great art and a fun read. Don't leave us hanging Mike Allred, we need a sequel about his Berlin years!
  • Sverre Amundsen
    January 1, 1970
    Brilliant, awe-inspiring, beautiful. If you are a Bowie fan, you owe it to yourself to read this.
  • Ashley Beery
    January 1, 1970
    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.
  • Monica
    January 1, 1970
    That was a a read fun and gorgeous book. It’s a fabulous tribute to Bowie.
  • Matthew
    January 1, 1970
    Great portrait of Bowie's life, up through when he declared the end of Ziggy Stardust. It doesn't dig real deep, but does give good highlight s if his life, career and creative energy.
  • Violet
    January 1, 1970
    Gorgeous illustrations that really capture the nuance of Bowie's life and early career.
  • Cidnya
    January 1, 1970
    4.5/5 stars Official Review I wrote for butwhythopodcast.com linked https://butwhythopodcast.com/2020/01/...
  • Bryan
    January 1, 1970
    Best thing Mike and Laura Allred have ever done. And they have done some amazing things. Just absolutely gorgeous.
  • Kim Pallister
    January 1, 1970
    Artwork is beautiful. The storytelling was a little too weighted to dates and other factoids. Would have liked more info on what was going on at personal level.
  • Tim
    January 1, 1970
    Any fan of Bowie should not miss this
  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful artwork. This is a real gem for any diehard Bowie fan.
  • Jaclyn Hillis
    January 1, 1970
    Allred’s art really captures Bowie so well! So vibrant and beautiful! Allred’s art really captures Bowie so well! So vibrant and beautiful! ⚡️
  • Alain Gutierrez
    January 1, 1970
    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
  • Beth Barnett
    January 1, 1970
    It tries to do too much in too few pages, and never manages to find it's subject's soul.
  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    I picked this up to look at the art and ended up devouring the whole thing. Beautifully done.
  • Sesana
    January 1, 1970
    If you'd asked me who I would like to see illustrate a Bowie biographical comic, I almost certainly would have said, "Michael Allred, of course, as long as Laura Allred does the colors." So I loved the art, obviously. This biography is strictly limited to Bowie's Ziggy era, which may be for the best. There's plenty of great visuals to be had, and Bowie's career was just too varied to neatly sum up in one biographical comic. I found it fascinating.
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