Monday, 29 August 2016

Madman's Creator-Owned Party!

(from Michael Fiffe's Blog, 28 November 2011)
...I recently got the chance to collaborate with one of my childhood comics heroes, Mike Allred, creator of Madman. I did a pencil drawing, Mike inked it and his wife Laura colored it! As if that wasn’t cool enough, the piece was slated to go into the Madman 20th Anniversary Monster (in stores mid-December).

The pin up was to depict a large cast of creator owned characters, all in celebration of the medium’s independent spirit. The idea originally sprung from Allred and Dean Haspiel (who vouched for me and my masochistic streak love of drawing crowd scenes). The piece would have an accompanying essay written by Adam McGovern, so all four of us began thinking up a master list of potential characters to feature. It started at 20 or so, then easily over 40. I held off on drawing anything until a definitive list was hammered out.

I had started with the basic information: a big ass party. It wasn’t to be a group action shot, but a bunch of folks hanging out instead. I made sure to draw the room in proportion to the space needed for the growing list of characters (70 at that point). I wanted to channel Yves Chaland in a way, but my main source of inspiration was Joost Swarte...

The ultimate list of characters still had to be finalized. Between the four of us, a lot of characters were added, cut, suggested, added again, and dug up until that master list was actually completed. It ended up being a head count of over a hundred. All I had to do was make them coexist on a single page. I wanted to convey every character’s personality at least in the smallest way. I had to reduce each one to a single, tiny movement. A bunch of little stories going on at once. I penciled as cleanly as possible and sent it off to Mike and Laura to complete it.

I still couldn’t believe Mike Allred was gonna ink this...

...Imagine my surprise when this came in. I was floored when I saw it. Leave it to Mike to take my cluttered mess and make it sing. He even added a few heads here and there. Given the sheer amount of creator owned characters, this single snapshot feels like we barely touched the tip of the iceberg. There are so many other great characters that weren’t squeezed in that I’m compelled to draw the other half of the room. Hmmm...


Paul Slade said...

OK, I'l bite. I reckon I can identify 91 of these folks:

Art Spigelman (in Maus mask)
Big Guy
Buddy Bradley
Captain Victory
Cowboy Wally
Destroyer Duck
Dinky Crow
Ed the Happy Clown
El Borbah
Errata Stigmata
Flaming Carrot
Hannah (from Cadillacs & Dinosaurs)
Jack from Cadillacs & Dinosaurs)
Jimmy Corrigan
Leonardo (of TMNTs)
Lester Girls
Major Gurbert
Martha Washington
Mr A
Mr Natural
Mr X
Reid Fleming
Savage Dragon
Too Much Coffee Man
Uncle Gabby
Wonder Wart Hog

I'll leave the rest for you guys to sort out. Hours of fun!

Paul Sade said...

... and Reuben Flagg (who I forgot to mention).

Also, the blonde guy about half way up the left-hand edge clutching a red cup looks very familiar to me. I think the book he appeared in was a B&W one set in Hell. I could have sworn the title was Seth's Inferno (no relation to the Palookaville Seth), but I now can't find any trace of that online. Does this ring a bell with anyone?

A Moment Of Cerebus said...

That would be "Stig's Inferno" by Ty Templeton.

Paul Slade said...

STIG's Inferno! Of course - thanks, Tim.

Paul Slade said...

... and now I've just spotted Enid from Ghost World too.

Keith said...

Is that Scott Pilgrim playing video games with Spawn in the upper left?

Keith said...

And there's an Isz (from The Maxx) just behind Spiegelman.

JLH said...

Is The Tick really creator owned? I've never seen a single item with "copyright Ben Edlund" on it, only "New England Comics", which he doesn't own.

Anthony Kuchar said...

I love this illustration. I always have this vision in my mind that Superman is at the door but the bouncer won't let him in.

"But, I'm Superman! What do you mean I'm not on the list?"

"Sorry sir invite only"

Lee Bentley said...

No Cynicalman or Beanworld guys or Those Annoying Post Bros? Phoo.

Anonymous said...

no elves?

Steve Peters said...

I thought the rights to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were sold to Viacom in 2009? So, Leonardo's not creator-owned, right?

Geoffrey D. Wessel said...

OK, a few things:

First, some more character identifications:

* Towards the bottom behind Mr. Natural, is I *THINK* one of the characters from Gerard Way/Gabriel Ba's UMBRELLA ACADEMY.
* Next to him, the big headed yellow thing, is Pecan Sandy by Nick Bertozzi, who was in a webcomic of the same name from the ACT*I*VATE online collective that both Bertozzi and Michel Fiffe were part of way back when.
* To the right of Madman is David Mazzuchelli's Asterios Polyp.
* Next to Big Guy is Art Adams' Monkeyman and O'Brien.
* To the right of Mr. X, with the helmet, is Jim Valentino's Shadowhawk. To the right of him are Christian Walker & Deena Pilgrim from Brian Michael Bendis & Michael Avon Oeming's POWERS.
* Next to Leonardo, the clown looking fellow, is Jack In The Box from Kurt Busiek & Brent Eric Anderson's ASTRO CITY.
* Next to Buddy Bradley is Kyle Baker's Saturn, from WHY I HATE SATURN
* I could be wrong but I think between Reuben Flagg and Luba is David Mack's Kabuki
* Lastly for now, guy in red next to Concrete.... how did none y'all spot ZOT! ???

Not sure on the ownership of The Tick, and it's easy to forget that Viacom is now the sole owner for the TMNT, so it's forgivable.

Lastly, Michel Fiffe's COPRA is some of the best self published books being published right now.

--- Geoffrey D. Wessel

Dave Sim said...

Can we say that the Turtles that we're looking at are the CREATOR-OWNED Turtles? It seems to me somewhat revisionist to "declassify" the best-known creator-owned intellectual property because it's no longer creator-owned, you know, as if it never was.

On a related note: "no elves?" should be "NO ELVES???!!!" Same deal: prior to the TURTLES, ELFQUEST was far and away the best-known creator-owned COMIC BOOK intellectual property. Wendy and Richard opened a lot more doors than I ever did.

Lee Bentley - Yes, they missed a good bet with CYNICALMAN: Hey! Easy one!

Anthony - Personally, I'd let Superman in. Same as you shouldn't turn away Paul McCartney if you're in the pop music biz. He's Paul McCartney! Have some respect! :)

Michael Fiffe - I thought it WAS Joost Swarte. So, mission accomplished!

Anonymous said...

Which one was the Harvey Kurtzman character? [I'm assuming that's what the character on the wall is, next to the Spirit, the Kirby-owned character, and Mr. A]

Tony Dunlop said...

The "Kirby character" on the wall is Captain Victory; to his right (our left) is Harvey Pekar.

Tony again said...

Or is it Reid Fleming? I could never tell those two apart...

Jim Sheridan said...

I'm glad to see Nexus in there. One of my favorites in the 1980s.

I had been getting all of the Nexus Archive hardcover reprint books that Dark Horse was putting out.I prefer books to floppies, and these are solid hardcover. However, between the glossy paper and the sometimes shaky (fuzzy, splotchy, etc) reproduced pages, these pricey treats did not look as good as the original. Bummer. I bought floppy issue # 11 for a buck yesterday and it confirmed my view. It's gorgeous.