November 11, 2004 2:59 PM   Subscribe

Mike Allred, maverick comic book auteur, has plied his pen on such notable series as Madman, The Atomics, Red Rocket 7, and *ahem* X-Force. Now, Allred, a long time member of the Church of Latter Day Saints, has turned his attention to The Golden Plates, a 12 volume adaptation of the Book of Mormon (earlier discussion waaaay back here), God's revelation to Joseph Smith. Pick up a copy at your local comic book store or Mormon book store, crank up Low's Secret Name, and geek out, Mormon-style.
posted by mikrophon (13 comments total)
This makes me think of Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction #6, an adaption of a Michael Moorcock story where a time traveller named Karl Glogauer travelled back to find Jesus of Nazareth, and found out that Jesus was mentally retarded. So, Karl took Jesus' place in history and was crucified. Glogauer died for our sins.
posted by stevis at 3:22 PM on November 11, 2004

I'll read it if it depicts Joe Smith pretending to dictate the word of God out of a hat. And shows mormons in their funny underwear.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:38 PM on November 11, 2004

As long as one remembers they are myths and not 'the God's honest truth', there is little harm in their retelling.

However, when the map becomes the territory...there is danger there.

Symbols are symbols for a reason. They are much less complex than the real thing but as such can tell the story more quickly...faster than the story can itself fold out.
posted by wah at 4:41 PM on November 11, 2004

You may place it in a small type face, but you can't ignore the fact that Allred's work on X-Factor, later X-Statix, remained just as innovative as his earlier work. Indeed, one of the best runs of comics at Marvel in recent memory. A shame it had to end!
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:08 PM on November 11, 2004

Wasn't Ed "Big Daddy" Roth a Mormon convert, too?

What the hell's going on in comic land?
posted by jonmc at 5:56 PM on November 11, 2004

This is great, because now I have a chance to read the Book of Mormon without, y'know, actually reading it.

I've been fond of comic-book-religion ever since I got an illustrated Bible as a kid. And I think these are gonna be fantastic.

(also, yes, Allred's work on X-Force/X-Statix was absolutely fantastic. It was just the constant rehashing of the same themes in the plot that made me stop reading it.)
posted by Katemonkey at 1:55 AM on November 12, 2004

Re X-Factor, later X-Statix:

Great stuff. It managed to satirize the current Popstars/Reality TV culture AND the whole X-Franchise it was part of. Pete Milligan (of Shade fame) gets the writing credit, of course: here's a Guardian interview with Milligan touching on Princess Di's appearance in X-Statix. It's nice to see everyone (presumably everyone who has actually read X-Statix) coming to its defence here.

Oh, um, right ... Allred's a Mormon? Wow, who woulda thought he was all Osmond-esque like that?
posted by Shane at 6:24 AM on November 12, 2004

The glimpses we get for the art in The Golden Plates is so very wooden and lifeless compared to his other works. I think he curbed his stylistic tendancies in a misplaced effort to be more respectful of the source. I understand why he did it, I just don't get the impression that it helped him artistically. But I can't really say for sure until I see more of the finished product.
posted by picea at 8:03 AM on November 12, 2004

Most of my Allred exposure came from X-Force/Statix, and that's causing me some serious cognitive trouble when I look at the preview pages for Golden Plates. I keep expecting terrorists to jump out from behind a rock and machine-gun people so that their intestines are hanging out.

It's weird to me how much I associate extreme, grisly violence with Allred's style.
posted by COBRA! at 8:19 AM on November 12, 2004

South Park already did this.

Dum - Dum - Dum - Dum - Dum - Dum - Dum - Dum
posted by Bonzai at 8:48 AM on November 12, 2004

this ranks up there with Neal Adams' tome on Jehovah's Witnesses and Steve Ditko's take on the Presbyterians. And who can forget Jack Kirby's Catholic World saga for DC thirty years ago?
posted by austinspace at 7:16 PM on November 12, 2004

austinspace, I've read many of Mike Allred's works and never got that "was this guy a molested-as-a-child?" religious feeling that I've gotten many times from the works of Orson Scott Card.

Allred's drawing is great, and his wife--who does his coloring--is also very original in the way she colors his work. Allred's okay, even if he is a Mormon. Which I didn't know at all until I read this post.

On the other hand, there are the intriguing and bizarre Jesus-strips of some indie comic book artist whose name absolutely escapes me right now (I want to say Joe Sacco, but Google says no), and the Cartoon Histories of the Universe by Larry Gonick.

And don't forget Jack Chick. Religion and comics go together just fine.

And though Ditko--a master--wasn't a Presbyter, he's definitely an objectivist nutcase.
posted by interrobang at 11:00 PM on November 12, 2004

No doubt that Milligan & Allred's turn on X-Force was great, and I didn't mean to cast aspersions on their work on the book, just on the book as a whole. My only experience with X-Force was buying 20 copies of the shrink wrapped first issue when I was 14. What a fool I was.
posted by mikrophon at 9:32 AM on November 17, 2004

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