Can’t wait to see my name in the credits, to be honest. Being a tiny part of his legacy like this is a treasure I will hold forever. And the film looks awesome.
Let’s go Mad, Man.”
—Daniel Calvo, Writer and Editor at Konkret Comic,
Kickstarter Backer of the Space Face Documentary
Since the age of five, award-winning artist and writer Michael Allred has periodically experienced profound, nearly psychedelic episodes brought on by pondering questions of infinity, space and meaning. These often unpleasant encounters with the void recur roughly every five years and are at the core of his creator-owned series Madman, a well-loved body of work now in its fourth decade that combines a relentless investigation into life’s deepest questions with an almost childlike sense of wonder at the simplest and grandest details of our existence.
Beyond Madman, Michael Allred is well-known for his work on X-Statix, Red Rocket 7, and Silver Surfer. His recently-released graphic biography, Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams is a New York Times best seller. His art may also be familiar from the opening credits of iZombie, a series he co-created, now streaming on Netflix.
Now Mike’s son Han is directing and producing Space Face, a feature-length documentary about his father. The film explores Mike’s life and work, his superheroic alter-ego Madman, and the existential questions that relentlessly drive him to creation and put him in touch with the infinite.
Mystical and esoteric phenomena, such as those Mike experiences, are the subject of research by Jeffrey Kripal, a professor of Philosophy and Religion at Rice University and the author of Mutants and Mystics: Science Fiction, Superhero Comics and the Paranormal.
“The unvarnished truth is that things have been very trippy. Telling it like it is is telling it trippy… These people are real. These extraordinary experiences happen. These capacities and gifts are part of our shared world.”
—Jeffrey Kripal, Secret Body: Erotic and Esoteric Currents in the History of Religions
Mike Allred’s experiences and their reflection in his comics open the door for others to explore the meaning of life and existence. The film covers this topic in its many interviews—including Kevin Smith, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Brian Bendis and others—revealing insights from the creative minds of writers and artists in comics.
“We’re suddenly having this very profound conversation about what happens when Mike looks into the face of infinity and feels small.”
—Matt Fraction, Eisner-Award-winning comic book writer
A Kickstarter campaign to raise $30k to fund the next phase of the production launched on February 18th. It achieved 75% funding in its first week. As it approaches full funding, stretch goals are on the horizon. New rewards—including an original Madman pinup from Scott Morse (@crazymorse on Instagram)—will be added in the near future.
A short teaser for the film—as well as a list of the dozens of creative talent well-known in the industry who already interviewed for the project—can be found on Kickstarter.
“On the surface, Space Face may just seem to be another comic book/art documentary, but at the core it’s about seeking life’s meaning, if it has a meaning,” Han says (“Freak Out/Far Out: Explore Mike Allred’s ‘Existential Episodes’ in New Documentary from his Son Han Allred”).
“I hope this film provokes others to ponder their own and inspires them to make the most of it. After all, we’re all gonna die. I think that’s a good thing to keep in perspective.”
Pre-order the film on Kickstarter. Learn more about the project in the podcast by Word Balloon, “Comic Book Documentary Han Allred’s Space Face the Mike Allred Story.”