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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Michael Wm. Kaluta

Michael Wm. Kaluta was influenced early in his teens by Roy Krenkel and Frank Frazetta. Their work on the Ace reissues of Edgar Rice Burroughs novels, as well as the novels themselves, instilled him with a fascination with fantasy that is evident in everything he draws. Some of Kaluta's earliest published work was for Graphic Showcase, a fan magazine in 1967. Titled Eyes of Mars, it was an obvious tribute to John Carter, Burroughs' famous Martian adventurer.

Back in the 1960's, comics fans published dozens, if not hundreds, of fanzines. Young artists who might have been drawing comic books in a more open market were relegated to learning their craft in the pages of these zines. Every subculture has its own hierarchy, and the world of fanzines and fanzine artists was no different. The "best" of them were printed via photo offset and had circulations into the 2000 to 3000 range. Some of these were the "artzines" and their editors strove to get contributions from the likes of Jeffrey Jones, Bernie Wrightson, and Michael Wm. Kaluta.



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