Books with picture of aliens (21-22)


022) Red Rocket 7 by Mike Allred, finished March 10

Red Rocket 7 manages to be both more and less ambitious than Allred's better known Madman books. More ambitious because it involved starting a band and recording an album, filming a movie (which I own but have never watched) (of course, that's also true of The Godfather).

Here's what the band sounds like (more), if you don't mind looking at a pretty girl at the same time:

RR7 is also more ambitious in that it tries to marry Allred's popart sensibilities with his love for pop music. Essentially, our title character takes us on tour of rock history.

But it's less ambitious in idea. It takes the depth of Madman's games with religion and faith and reason and hope and despair and just sums them up.


Red Rocket 7, alien clone and our eponymous hero, is only present briefly at the beginning and end of this book. The bulk of the pages are spent on a reconstruction of his past through letters and a fellow clone's testimony of his rockandroll Zelig life. RR7 knew Little Richard and Elvis and the Beatles and Bowie and a slew of others, usually before they went big. The book is clearly a love letter from Allred to rockandroll legend. And the dozens of real people have forced him to expand his normally narrow range of faces which I appreciate as a reader.

So plot one is RR7 bouncing from rock story to rock story while his fellow clones are, say, moving from science story to science story. And important difference is that while the other clones are subtly introducing the new understandings which made the Twentieth Century the Twentieth Century, RR7 is just a fanboy along for the ride. So when he finally starts to make his own music, perhaps it's inevitable he'll have to save the world.

Which is plot two. In the universe, the alien species have split into two camps: those who have eaten from the tree of life and will live forever in their sins, and those who embrace mortality and have faith in a life after death. The clones are a liminal camp of six souls. Sloned from a person of faith and possessing his memories and feelings, they embrace life as a limited time. But they were created through deathless technology and have thus had immortality thrust upon them.

Which is tied closely to one of the book's great paradoxes. The mortals prophet-like figure insists everyone has "free agency", but then again, he has a book which has successfully predicted every historic moment for, like, forever. Including what I suppose is Armageddon and the Second Coming. (Which occurs in what must be under half and hour real time.)

The story ends with evidence that yes there is an afterlife and therein our relationships (especially our romantic relationships) are eternal. Plus there's a special home for our rockandroll martyrs. Which thoughts are, I suspect, the bedrock of Mike Allred's faith.

So whether you come down on the More Ambitious or Less Ambitious manner of interpreting Red Rocket 7, I think you'll have to agree with me and admit that Allred's creative ambition is impressive and expansive and maybe even godly.

probably three weeks if including the time I spent getting through the stuff in the back


021) Missile Mouse: Rescue on Tankium3 by Jake Parker, finished March 10

You'll recall I read this in pencils. It's even better than I remembered. I'll be reviewing on Motley Vision, so keep an eye out.

What I want to say now is that my kids are gaga over Missile Mouse and yours will be too. I stand by my statement that Missile Mouse is pretty much the best introduction to space opera available.

two days


Previously in 2011 . . . . :

020) The Hotel Cat by Esther Averill, finished February 28

019) Wonderland by Tommy Kovac and Sonny Liew, finished February 21
018) Redcoat by Kohl Glass (MS POLICY), finished February 18

017) Best American Comics 2010 edited by Neil Gaiman, finished February 12
016) Little Bee by Chris Cleave, finished February 10
015) Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck, finished February 2
014) Cursed Pirate Girl: The Collected Edition Vol. I by Jeremy Bastian, finished January 31

013) Sweet Tooth: In Captivity by Jeff Lemire, finished January 30
012) Sweet Tooth: Out of the Woods by Jeff Lemire, finished January 30
011) Essex County: The Country Nurse by Jeff Lemire, finished January 30
010) Essex County: Ghost Stories by Jeff Lemire, finished January 29
009) Essex County: Tales from the Farm by Jeff Lemire, finished January 29

008) Magdalene by Morah Jovan, finished January 27

007) Knightfall Part Two: Who Rules the Night by a slew of DC folk, finished January 23
006) Bayou by Jeremy Love, finished January 17

005) Mr. Monster by Dan Wells, finished January 10
004) The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, finished January 6
003) The Mystery of the Dinosaur Graveyard by Mary Adrian, finished January 5
002) Batman - Judge Dredd: Judgment on Gotham by John Wagner and Alan Grant and Simon Bisley, with lettering by the famous Todd Klein; finished January 4
001) Batman: Venom by Dennis O'Neil et al, finished January 2


  1. So did you ever see Allred's "Astroesque"? since it is also about RR7? It was a bonus on the "G-Men from Hell" DVD.

  2. .

    Yeah, that's (or, rather, those) is/are the movie(s) I own but have never watched. And I've had them for . . . seven years now? About as long as I've owned The Godfather....

    Have you?

  3. I rented them a few odd years ago-2006. I liked G-Men for what it is (pretty weird) seems like it had a few good moments. But it has been a long time.

    "Astroesque" I think I watched a couple of times because it lost me in a couple places-seems like it was a little slow at times. IMDB says he made it for $500!

    What I remember most is enjoying Mike throwing in his own take on LDS philosophy throughout because it was not intended for an LDS audience (I believe).

    Same kind of thing thing that really got my attention about "Madman" when I went "Hey, that's one of the Three Nephites!"

    Following Allred, I now enjoy tossing in subtle & obscure LDSism's into my spec-fiction that is outside the LDS market.

  4. .

    Geez. My apologies for all the typos.