BOWIE: Stardust, Rayguns & Moonage Daydreams
Michael Allred w/ Steve Horton and Laura Allred
There are some extraordinary graphic memoirs and bios – the vision, the way the colourist and artist combine with the writer to tell a story. A shining example of this (still relatively new) form is this tribute to David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust years.
Essentially, this graphic novel takes the form of a biography of the Ziggy years, but more than that it’s a mood-piece about the motivations that shaped the character.
So we speed through Bowie’s mod and early solo years to that disastrous promo tour of the US and the struggle to build on his artistic breakthrough with the first albums not quite translating to an audience. And then to Bowie wanting to hide inside a character as he took those songs to the stage.
Throughout, the story is so imaginatively told – brilliant cameo appearances (Bolan, Lou Reed) and references to the cultural minutiae that was rattling around in Bowie’s mind.
I’ve read and watched this story over and again through various bios and docos and the actual concert footage but I’ve never seen it come alive in quite the way it does in this book. Unbelievable skill and artistry on display here. Fittingly it’s in tribute to the unbelievable skill and artistry that the hero of the piece – David Bowie – displayed. It wasn’t ever effortless. It was with a lot of work, graft, tenacity and grit. That’s so perfectly portrayed in this page-turner; the art so bold and beautiful.
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