Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Heads Up! · Illustration Art · Michael Wm. Kaluta


Coming this summer from IDW:

Here’s the publisher’s description:

Michael Kaluta’s career has been both diverse and extraordinary. From his origins as a fanzine artist in the 1960s, to his defining rendition of The Shadow in the 1970s, through his stint as part of the legendary art collective known simply as THE STUDIO and beyond, Kaluta has produced countless gorgeous images that never cease to enchant us. Now, for the first time, the work of Michael Wm. Kaluta is presented in an oversized, massive retrospective that showcases his beautiful art. Many of the pieces presented in this very special volume will be scanned from Kaluta’s original art to maximize the quality of printing. If you are a fan of Kaluta’s work, or a lover of fine art, then this is the book for you!


Format: Hardcover, 304 pages, 9 x 12 inches
Publisher: IDW Publishing (July 23 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613776829
ISBN-13: 978-1613776827

Kaluta is a terrific artist. And IDW has a reputation for publishing high-quality art books. So pre-ordering Kaluta: The Big Book is, for me, a no-brainer. YMMV.

Comics · Connections · Frank Frazetta · Here, Read · Look Here · Michael Wm. Kaluta



Scheduled for release in February 2012 (according to Amazon), Michael Wm. Kaluta: Sketchbook Series Volume 1 is described by the publisher, IDW, as “the first in a series that will provide a glimpse into the inner workings of this great artist, from the very earliest creative spark to more finished concepts and nearly completed works. Each image has been scanned from Kaluta’s personal sketchbooks and archives, and is accompanied by commentary from the artist.”

To whet your appetite for Kaluta’s new book, here’s the fifth (?) instalment in writer Len Wein and artist Mike Kaluta’s adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ 1934 novel, Pirates of Venus. Wein and Kaluta’s adaptation was part of an ongoing series of “Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Carson of Venus” stories that had a short but memorable run as back-up feature in the series, Korak, Son of Tarzan. If you’re familiar with Frazetta’s cover paintings for Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Carson of Venus” novels, you will notice on the third page of the story that Kaluta gives an artistic tip of the hat to Frazetta’s painting for the 1963 Ace edition of Lost on Venus; for those who aren’t familiar with Frazetta’s painting, I’ve included an image of it below for the sake of comparison:


It was obvious right from the start that Kaluta and Burroughs were a match made in heaven! And if work like that doesn’t make you want to see Kaluta’s sketchbook, and read what he has to say about his process, then nothing will…

Heads Up! · Michael Wm. Kaluta

Heads Up: STARSTRUCK DELUXE EDITION by Elaine Lee and Michael Kaluta

Here’s the classic opening page of Elaine Lee and Michael Wm. Kaluta’s comics magnum opus, recently remastered and reprinted in 13 installments by IDW and soon to be available in a single deluxe hardcover volume:

Here’s the info currently available at

Starstruck Deluxe Edition [Hardcover]

Elaine Lee (Author), Michael Wm. Kaluta (Artist)

Product Details

* Hardcover: 360 pages
* Publisher: IDW Publishing (Feb 23 2011)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 1600108725
* ISBN-13: 978-1600108723

Product Description

Collecting all 13 issues of the completely remastered Starstruck series by Elaine Lee and Michael Kaluta. 280 pages of Starstruck and Galactic Girl Guides adventures, covers, pin-ups, glossary, postcards, and so much more! The first truly comprehensive collection of this material and grand, over-sized edition. This beautiful book features some of the finest art ever by put to paper by Kaluta, including many pages that were never printed in the original run. Additionally, Kaluta painstakingly added approximately 20% of art to NEARLY EVERY PAGE to ensure the aspect ratio of the comic would be consistent and correct. The end result is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced, a head-spinning, synapse-snapping, soul-searing ride to a world like no other… the world of Starstruck.

I’ve purchased every version of Starstruck (magazine serialization, graphic novel, comics, etc.) except the latest mini-series from IDW, and I only skipped that because I felt certain a collection would follow close on the heels of the 13th floppy. (In the old days, a collection was the exception; these days, it’s the rule.) So now it’s time for me to lay my money down: I pre-ordered today!

Also available soon: Starstruck on Compact Disc

On 15 September 2010, the AudioComics Webstore will open to take pre-orders for their debut audio production of Starstruck, written by Elaine Lee with Susan Norfleet and Dale Place, featuring characters from the comic by Lee and Kaluta.

The basis for the critically acclaimed comic book series, Starstruck was first presented off-off-Broadway in 1980, and again off-Broadway in 1983. In a far-flung and very alternative future, Captain Galatia 9 and the crew of the Harpy and on a mission for the United Federation of Female Freedom Fighters. When the Harpy runs into a living ship inhabited by a team of galactic evildoers, including Galatia’s insidious sister Verloona Ti, the outcome of the battle may well decide the fate of the free universe. The AudioComics Company is proud to present the audio adaptation of the play script as its inaugural production! Often hilarious, always surprising, Starstruck is a spine-tingling joy-ride to the far side of the spiral arm!

The MP3 of the Starstruck radio drama will be available Halloween Day!

Here, Read · Interviews · Jeffrey "Jeff" Catherine Jones · Michael Wm. Kaluta

Here, Read: Jones on Kaluta, Kaluta on Kaluta vs. Jones

Here’s Jeffrey Jones on Michael Wm. Kaluta, from Comic Book Profiles #7: Michael William Kaluta (Summer 1999), pages 28 – 29:

How did you first meet Michael?

If memory serves, I met Michael and Bernie Wrightson at a New York City convention in the fall of 1968. Michael may dispute this because he is the “memory giant.” But I remember this as being so. We were there to show our fledgling work. I had arrived in New York about a year earlier and had a couple of jobs done. My memory is sketchy as to details but Bernie had a bunch of $5 and $10 ballpoint pen drawings piled on a table in the art show for sale. Michael was more of the portfolio type. I mention Bernie in the Michael question because he was the one who introduced us.

What do you feel is his strength as an artist?

Michael’s greatest strength as an artist has always been his ability to remind us to stay alive. His art is moral in the sense that it, as the best art, has absolutely no function except to exist. It has the promise of function and will remain where that beauty lives. I speak of the human spirit and its passion to rise above everything, except that which we all already know. Michael reminds us of that connection between all lives and all that makes us human. This takes a true artist.

You and Michael worked on projects together, both formally and informally. Does any one project stand out as particularly memorable?

The thing that jumps to mind is a period of time during The Studio days, if you will, when we were trying to decide what to call our upcoming book (The Studio). Michael taped long rolls of brown kraft paper to one wall where each of us, usually clandestinely, would write our suggestions. Well, this certainly started out seriously but quickly degenerated into a list of some of the most preposterous titles imagined by the minds of the deranged. I believe that even though most of these would appear in the dark of night, it was pretty easy to tell who wrote what. We laughed for what seemed months. Definitely a great achievement in the art of cooperation.

Now, it seems to me that what Jones viewed as the “greatest strength” in Kaluta’s work back in 1999 is precisely what Jones has always pursued in her own work.

And I have little doubt that Kaluta was, at the time, flattered by Jones’s praise; I mean, who wouldn’t be?

And yet, based on the very plain-spoken, practical analysis that Kaluta offers up in an early promotional trailer for Better Things: Life + Choices of Jeffrey Jones of the difference between his own unabashedly functional, commercial body of work, and the sometimes obliquely functional but always deeply felt and humanely expressive work of Jones, I’m not entirely sure that Kaluta actually would have agreed with Jones’s contention that his (Kaluta’s) artwork “has absolutely no function except to exist.”

Here is a partial, lightly edited transcript of the trailer, which features a rough-cut interview with Kaluta:

Artistically, [says Kaluta] one works for oneself. You have to. To get anything good, you kind of have to work for the person that’s inside of you; however, to be able to live, you have to work for companies. I had to work for companies; other artists, perhaps, can work for galleries, or posterity. An illustrator is someone who draws for money. I don’t do what some of my friends are able to do, which is paint their souls, their dreams, their nightmares for themselves, and that’s art — and it is. I am happiest when I am reading someone else’s material and crafting it into a picture that will reflect to my best efforts what I think the writer was trying to say, trying to visualize. I would say that Jeffrey Jones is both an illustrator and an artist, using the descriptions we have just talked about. He covers a wide range of self-motivating imagery. It comes through him, and every once in a while he’ll apply that specific power that comes through him to an illustration job, or he’ll use the characters that have been written by other people as a vehicle for his own talents. I wouldn’t say he’s as much of an illustrator as I am. I think that he’s more of a personal storyteller who now and then might come close to illustrating something [laughs], on purpose.

In the portion of the trailer I haven’t transcribed, Kaluta goes on to describe his first meeting with Jones, which Kaluta says occurred at “a World Science Fiction Convention here in New York City in 1967.” LOL!