Thursday, June 2, 2011

Solo by Mike Allred

Bear with me, even if you think you don't like comics. As I mentioned Tuesday, I couldn't possibly be less impressed by Jim Lee's new super hero designs for DC.

Coincidentally, last night, Mike Allred's issue of DC Comic's Solo (from 2005) was on the top of my reading pile. What an absolute delight.

The first story features Hourman, a character I always thought was ridiculous. If you're not familiar, he has a supply of pills and when he swallows one, gets superstrength . . . for one hour. He wears a sandtimer around his neck to keep track. Silly right? But Allred's story is a beautifully-illustrated, funny tale of what Hourman does when he swallows a pillow, but finds he has no crime to fight. Even if you're not a comic book fan, you should read the whole thing here (site is probably NSFW).

You can also read another story from the issue here (also NSFW). Allred makes the classic designs shine:

It's a terrible shame that the Solo issues were never collected (I think?), although you can find some issues at eBay. If anyone has some they'd like to swap for some Threadless credit, please get in touch. I have the Darwynn Cooke and Teddy Kristiansen issues.


  1. mike allred hits it out the park, always.

    Since i'm not the 14 year old boy i was i find jim lee's work to be very stale and unemotional. and he draws every face exactly the same. and i mean every face.

    god he bores me senseless.

  2. The only dc books i tend to get now are these Mark Chiarello projects like solo and Wednesday Comics. They always tend to be....classy yet fresh. The Jim Lee redsigns are awful and it boggles my mind that they let him design alot of their properties (I know he's a VP or something, but still). It's especially silly because the redesigns are gimmicky and go against the iconic branding of the originals.

  3. This looks like a great recommendation. These books were not on my radar when they came out but I love all those characters and Mike Allred, so thanks!

  4. To be clear, every issue is very different, featuring a single artist and whatever characters he felt like using.

  5. Some of the "Darwyn Cooke: Solo" issue was collected in Batman: Ego and Other Tales (It also includes Selina's Big Score and a few other excellent Cooke stories..) This is all I know.

  6. Solo was an awesome series and it was a shame it ended.

    Mike Allred is great though. I love his work. Real down to earth too. He was doing a signing at my local comic shop about a month ago and we had some good conversation. I also convinced him to purchase an Eraserhead shirt on the spot from some online retailer since I was wearing one.

  7. You are correct, there has been no collection yet. According to Mike Allred, there have been talks about doing a "Best of" compilation from all of the different issues of Solo, where the creator of each would pick their favorite story. Like a "My Favorite Solo." But there has not been anything definite on that yet.

  8. Hello. Only today I came across your blog, looking for info on the Solo series. I'm also an admirer of Mike Allred and the Madman books. So much so that he made me interested in comic books again. Anyway, I don't know if know already, but there will be a collection of the Solo series, called Solo:Deluxe. It's on sale at amazon and it will be released on June 11. There's also a Wednesday Comics collection available. Cheers!