Admittedly, I’m a little late jumping on the Madman bandwagon. A staple of the 1990s indie-comic scene, Madman has always been on my radar, but I’ve never had a good point to jump on. The single issues and collections alike were always hard to find for me. That is, until now. Madman creator Mike Allred has teamed up with Image comics to produce some of the best TPBs of any comic I’ve seen in a while. Not only is almost every Madman story, including The Atomics, collected in four volumes (with more to come I’m assuming), they are done so in a stylish, colorful, and affordable way. All together, some 50-odd issues are collected for less than a hundred dollars. (Note: as of this writing the fourth volume has yet to hit the shelves.)
If you’re not familiar with Madman, or Mike Allred’s work in general, hit up these two wikipedia pages, or Allred’s personal site. I will, however, tell you this: Allred’s art is a perfect mix of pop genius and Silver Age sensibility. He brings everything you love about the early days of modern comics and, along with wife/colorist Laura Allred, mixes in a style that is utterly his own. As for the writing in Madman, think early Spider-man or Fantastic Four meets Grant Morrison’s Invisibiles or Animal Man.
I highly recommend Madman for fans of fun, but intellectually stimulating work. Reading Madman reminds me of reading comics like Tom Strong or Morrison’s Doom Patrol – the type of comics that keep me coming back to this bastard medium we call comics.
(Top image: cover of Madman Gargantua Hardcover – collecting everything but the Atomics stuff. Right image: cover to The Atomics #1. From AAAPop Comics!)