If you’re seeking out legendary artist Michael Allred with your burning questions, you’ll have to get in line. Allred’s at the height of his powers and super-busy with cool projects like the wildest SILVER SURFER series ever with writer Dan Slott and covers for ALL-NEW DOOP, yet we forged ahead with an interview, knowing you’d settle for nothing less.
Here it is, a few choice words with an all-around great guy and one of the most unique illustrators of our time: Michael Allred.
Marvel.com: Michael, SILVER SURER seems like such a natural fit for you; what was your first reaction when you were approached about the book? Was it a no-brainer?
Michael Allred: The cosmic no-brainer of all no-brainers. When Senior Editor Tom Brevoort first asked me if I'd be interested in doing SILVER SURFER, I actually had to do a quick reality check. Was I dreaming?
Marvel.com: At the outset, what did you most want to do with the art for the series? You appear to be a traditionalist with Norrin's look—or is there more to it than that for you?
Michael Allred: I always strive for some kind of progress in my work. But at the same time, in my mind, the Surfer should look a certain way. So, I want it to look contemporary but have a clear path to the original [Jack] Kirby/[Stan] Lee vibe.
Marvel.com: What does Dan Slott do as a writer that makes it most enjoyable for you as an artist to work on his plots and scripts?
Michael Allred: We're both fueled by pure affection and enthusiasm for the character. It's like kids playing in the yard with their imaginations exploding. And we have the experience to take that childlike excitement and bring it to the page. So far it's been pure joy working with Dan and builds as he keeps giving me pages that are a blast to draw.
Marvel.com: Speaking of blasts, how long did that huge two-page spread in SILVER SURFER #1 take you to draw?
Michael Allred: I just worked out the shape and started drawing in all the details. It took about three days all in. Mentally I just went back to junior high sitting in the back of a boring class entreating myself by filling up my notebooks with doodles.
Now ask Dan how long it took him to write the three sentence description. [Laughs]
Marvel.com: Your female characters are always stunning and so uniquely "you"—what was your intention with Dawn visually? What was most important for you to convey about her?
Michael Allred: We went back and forth finding a nice "girl next door" vibe. I wanted a no-frills short haircut, something simultaneously spunky and sexy. And we wanted a very specific look for her outfit, something distinct like Charlie Brown's zig-zag shirt. I finally came up with the Ladybug polka dots that everybody dug, and then it was a very easy call to do the bumble bee stripes for her twin sister.
Marvel.com: In terms of the aliens and alien vistas, what about designing them appeals to you the most? Is there anything in the vein coming up in the next few issues that you're most proud of?
Michael Allred: What's most fun about aliens and their worlds is that there are no rules. Let your freak flag fly! He's not a super crazy alien design, but I'm very excited about Warrior One. I hope he becomes a classic iconic Marvel character.
Marvel.com: What existing Marvel characters would you like to see guest-star in the book, and why?
Michael Allred: All of them! I love them all! But I also love introducing new characters and going to new corners of the Marvel Universe. I'm not going to name names because I want to keep everyone guessing.
Marvel.com: We love your answer, man! So, switching over to ALL-NEW DOOP, what's it like returning to the character for the covers?
Michael Allred: Like visiting a dear old friend. Some old friends can be almost unrecognizable, changing in so many ways. Other friends, 10 years could have gone by, but it feels like you were just with them yesterday. Doop is an anchor of bizarre consistency.
Marvel.com: What's your mission statement on the Doop covers? What do they need to be?
Michael Allred: The mutant race in yer face!
Look for SILVER SURFER #2 to glide your way on April 23!