Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

Michael Allred, Steve Horton, and Laura Allred. Insight Comics, $39.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-68383-448-9
More fantasia than rock-star biography, this gloriously over-the-top account of David Bowie’s early career up through the “death” of his alter ego Ziggy Stardust refracts his climb to stardom through the lens of his alien imagination. Allred (Madman) presents the late 1960s and early ’70s as a glitter-bomb rush of celebrity, glam outfits, and breaking barriers. The pages are packed with the people and works (Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Andy Warhol; 1984, 2001, A Clockwork Orange) that pushed Bowie’s music from sensitive singer-songwriter folk toward the alien dystopias and lovesick outsider ballads that launched him into stardom. The narrative is embedded with a tapestry of sometimes subtle references, from William S. Burroughs to The Twilight Zone. Frequently overwhelming more mundane details of Bowie’s recording and collaborations on albums including Hunky Dory and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust is Allred’s art, a full-scale riot of color and sharp angles, with sensually rendered bodies, captivating eyes, and densely surreal montages. The attention to Bowie’s shifting personae unfortunately crowds out much sense of him as a person, giving short shrift to what lay behind the feverish creativity boiling out of him and his drive to continually reinvent himself. Despite an overemphasis on surface imagery, this tribute is a ravishing spectacle. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 10/30/2019
Release date: 01/07/2020
Genre: Comics
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