ADVANCED REVIEW: “Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, and Moonage Daydreams”

Reading Time: 3 minutes

David Bowie, ziggy stardust

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, and Moonage Daydreams is a fantastical graphic novel written by Steven Horton and Michael Allred, drawn by Michael Allred, edited by Mark Irwin, and colored by Laura Allred. Published by Insight Comics it follows the life and death of Bowie’s most popular character Ziggy Stardust, we follow a story that both chronicles David’s life while indulging in the spectacle he was. With an introduction from Neil Gaiman (Sandman), the world finally can feast on the Bowie comic they’ve always wanted. 

 From the very beginning, it’s plain to see that the husband and wife team of the Allred’s adore superstar David Jones. Allred and Horton choose to start their script with the Odeon Theatre, July 3rd, 1973. Any die-hard Bowie fan knows that this date represents the last performance that featured Ziggy Stardust, the alien character drafted from David’s imagination. Allred draws this iconic show to a tee, with his pulp style and thick lining, it brings you to the stage. It’s hard not to feel giddy from these first pages. The art is vibrant and leaps off the pages. 

 This musical journey is easily streamlined through narration. There are yellow text boxes that deliver dates and facts via a muted red color that is easy to read. The text boxes are never big and overfilled. It’s refreshing to see exposition be so well written and placed. Allred and Horton’s script features exact dates, locations, rock and roll histories, and cultural markers that display their research efforts.

I feared that 160-pages wouldn’t be enough to fully deliver enough coverage of the Starman’s life. However, their attention to focus on every important detail on the rise to fame in Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, and Moonage Day Dreams is impressive and concise. Choosing to focus on just a small silver of his career left little room for a fault script.  

 After covering the album cycles of The Man Who Sold the World to Hunky Dory, the graphic novel starts turning into a creative experience where the Allred’s indulge themselves in their craft with Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Allred devotes numerous pages to display some of Bowie’s most iconic outfits from his blue suit in the Life on Mars video to his Kensai Yamamoto Tokyo Pop suit.

All memorabilia and outfits were carefully colored to be exact matches by Allred herself. In the afterwords, Allred writes that she used a multitude of real pictures from the internet and biographies to bring to life the musician as accurately as possible. In the corners of the pages, there are little stars, planets, and space-like to remind readers that this isn’t just a biography. 

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, and Moonage Daydreams is a theatrical spectacle of passion, rock and roll, and art on paper. Horton and the Allred’s created a comic that showcases the rise, growth and fame of beloved David Bowie and every musician that he encountered. Shedding light into his life in a detailed, researched manner, any fan would be enthralled to finally own such a special homage to the Starman himself. 

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, and Moonage Daydreams is out January 7, 2020.

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, and Moonage Daydreams
4.5

TL;DR

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, and Moonage Daydreams is a theatrical spectacle of passion, rock and roll, and art on paper. Horton and the Allred’s created a comic that showcases the rise, growth and fame of beloved David Bowie and every musician that he encountered. Shedding light into his life in a detailed, researched manner, any fan would be enthralled to finally own such a special homage to the Starman himself.