As you may know, Michael Allred is returning briefly to his signature creation, Madman, following an extended stint at Vertigo, drawing I, Zombie. That visit to his spiritual home will take the form of April's Madman All-New Giant-Size Super Ginchy Special. But what is probably news to you is that Allred will follow that up later this year with an auspicious 20th anniversary Madmen project featuring new work by himself as well as Darwyn Cooke, Mike Avon Oeming, Frank Quitely, Matt Wagner and many, many more similarly lauded comics creators. Called Madman 20th Anniversary Monster, the book will replicate the incredible 11"x17" dimensions of DC Comics' beautiful Wednesday Comics hardcover collection.Allred has previously discussed the Madman 20th Anniversary Monster on his website, but it was in a recent interview with Comic Book Resources that the cartoonist revealed a great deal of information about the project.

By the end of the year will be the biggest "Madman" project ever. Next year is Madman's 20th anniversary, if you can believe it -- it blows my brain to think of how much time has passed! [Laughs] But we are going to celebrate big time. I don't know if you saw the "Wednesday Comics" hardcover collection, but it's an 11x17 hardcover collection of these "Sunday Funnies style" strips that a bunch of us did for DC Comics. I had drawn Metamorpho, written by Neil Gaiman. That made me excited about the idea of doing something similar with my own characters.

Detail of Madman 20th Anniversary Monster by Mike Allred (and others)

Allred's list of more than 20 contributors is one that Wednesday Comics editor Mark Chiarello would surely kill to replicate for the next installment of that prestigious DC franchise: Peter Bagge, Kyle Baker, Philip Bond, Al Columbia, Darwyn Cooke, Dave Cooper, Dean Haspiel, Los Bros Hernandez (all three, Gilbert, Jaime and Mario), Teddy Kristiansen, Erik Larsen, David Mack, Pat McEown, Michael Avon Oeming, Peter Milligan, Bernie Mireault, Paul Pope, Eric Powell, Joe Quinones, Frank Quitely, Steven T. Seagle, Jeff Smith, Jay Stephens, Craig Thompson and Matt Wagner.

Detail of Madman 20th Anniversary Monster pin-up by Matt Wagner

Madman 20th Anniversary Monster will come with a framing story written by longtime Madman editor Jamie S. Rich, with layouts by Jim Valentino and finishes by Allred. The book will also include an essay by Adam McGovern tracing the history of Allred's generation of creator-owned characters and their influences, which will be accompanied by new illustrations by Allred and Michael Fiffe. Most excitedly for us and for fans of ComicsAlliance's Best Art Ever (This Week) in particular, the Madman anniversary book will feature a gallery of the nearly 200 Madman pinups that Allred has collected over the years.

Madman 20th Anniversary Monster pin-up by Darwyn Cooke

We'll have to wait a little while before Allred and Image Comics release pricing and shipping details for Madman 20th Anniversary Spectacular, but we'll have the new one-shot to tide us over. At 64 pages, The Madman All-New Giant-Size Super Ginchy Special will be quite a value when it goes on sale April 6 for just $5.99. The book will feature a leading revenge story written and drawn by Allred as well as backup stories by Tonci Zonjic (Who Is Jake Ellis?), Matt Kindt (Revolver) and Emi Lennox (Emitown), plus even more Madman pinups. Kindt and Lennox will also supply material to this month's Sweet Tooth #19.

Allred spoke to CBR about this ferocious spirit of collaboration that surrounds him and his fellow cartoonists.

There's just a lot of goodwill and enthusiasm for each other's work. We're very much a subculture. But those who are in the subculture celebrate it. The fans, the artists, the writers, we realize how fragile and dear it is and we would be foolish not to celebrate good work when we see it and encourage its growth and progress. It goes back to one of the earlier things we were talking about: comic books are where my heart is. It's exciting; it's the one art form where you can tell a story in words and pictures that can be told by as little as one person. No other medium offers that. It's a unique, amazing art form and I for one am stunned that it's not an art form common in every household. What has more amazing personal diversity and quality? So while we remain this cultish subculture, I am going to do all I can to enjoy it and do all I can to promote it and encourage people to explore it.

Madman All-New Giant-Size Super Ginchy Special pin-up by Raphael Albuquerque

Madman All-New Giant-Size Super Ginchy Special pin-up by Daniel Krall

Detail of Madman All-New Giant-Size Super Ginchy Special by Emily Carroll

Detail of Madman All-New Giant-Size Super Ginchy Special by Michael Cho

Detail of Emi Lennox page from Madman All-New Giant-Size Super Ginchy Special

If that's not enough Madman for you, Image will release this June its second massive, oversized hardcover collection reprinting the latest slew of Madman comics. Titled Madman: Atomica!, the over-1,000-page volume collects the entire The Atomics series, the It Girl, Mr. Gum and Spaceman one-shots, and the entire Madman Atomic Comics series, with bonus features.

Finally, Allred will continue his work with Chris Roberson on I, Zombie, which the artist is more excited about than ever. "I promise you, it's going to get even better. It completely spins off into orbit in issue #13! I am reinvigorated with it -- you'll be in love with it!"

For more from Mike Allred, including his views on creator-owned comics versus work-for-hire comics, check out the whole interview at CBR. Of course, you should always keep up with his artblog as well, for more of the best art in comics.

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