“Metropolis” Mythically Transgressed by Comic Artist Michael W. Kaluta

The Mensch-Maschine by comic artist Michael W. Kaluta's vintage graphic novel masterpiece of 1988, courtesy www.kaluta.com

In the wake of the Metropolis 27/10 renaissance (see recent post here in this blog [1]) at the 60th Berlinale, thanks to Nerdcore [2] and Golden Age Comicbook Stories [3] I stumbled over the 1988 masterpiece of comic art by renowned illustrator Michael W. Kaluta [4].

Kaluta has more and more turned his career into a still, but not merely comic-centric cover artist whereas his own series kept rare – StarstruckThe Shadow and Eve (a spin-off of The Sandman saga). Kaluta’s official homepage [5] is worth an intense study.

As this snippet from his Metropolis Graphic Novel based by the original Thea von Harbou novel shows that he is an extraordinary gifted penciller, although his elaborate style isn’t really suitable to fit into standard comic industries tight production requirements – heavily based on a strict division of labour.

Metropolis shows the awesome variety of Kaluta’s penciling abilities, but the tendency that every panel of the sequence wants to be more than just a decent servant oft the superordinate story line is evident. But to get the immersive power of the Metropolis myth you might get no better witness than this masterpiece of illustrative, not necessarily sequential art.

Michael W. Kaluta splash images might spark the imagination in a way the Alan Lee [6] artwork did for the classic Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings editions. It is no-brainer that, if in the aftermath of the Hollywood 3D frenzy a CGI obsessed sort of Peter Jackson would try to create a definite remake of Metropolis he would take Kaluta’s work as the 1:1 model for its production design.

The original Metropolis issue is out of print, so our initial Sinnspruch remains: “We Are Keeping A Close Eye on You!”

[1] Metropolis 27/10 – “We Are Keeping A Close Eye on You!”
[2] Nerdcore – “The Blog About Very Cool Stuff. Und so.”
[3 Golden Age Comicbook Stories – Dr. Door Tree’s impressive resource on this very topic
[4] Wikipedia on Michael W. Kaluta
[5] The Art of Michael W. Kaluta
[6] Alan Lee’s Biography at BPIP – “A site devoted to illustrative art”

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