Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Kaluta, Michael William

(1947-    ) US fantasy Comic-book artist and illustrator, with a fine line style; much of his work is inspired by 1930s and 1940s pulp illustration, and in many respects stylistically resembles it. MWK has been influenced by Roy G Krenkel, Charles Vess, Al Williamson, Bernie Wrightson and other leading artists with whom he has worked.

MWK's first comics work was a four-page strip published in Flash Gordon #18 (1970), although he had assisted Wrightson on the artwork for two strips in DC Showcase (#83 and #84 1969). His other important early strip work included a number of Burroughsian pieces in Korak (#46-#56 1972-1973), Tarzan (#230 1974), Weird Worlds (#4 1973) and Tarzan Family (#60-#65 1975-1976), plus a short series on The Shadow (#1-#6 1973-1974) and subsequently The Shadow Graphic Novel (graph 1988), a three-part Spawn of Frankenstein tale (Phantom Stranger #23-#25 1973), and some short fantasy tales in Superman (#240 1971), Witching Hour (#7 1970), House of Mystery (#185, #195, #200, #221 1971-1974), House of Secrets (#87, #98 1970, 1972) and Doorway into Nightmare (#1-#5 1978).

For the next 10 years most of MWK's work was in the form of comic-book covers for Batman, Detective, House of Mystery, House of Secrets, Time Warp and Conan the King, plus spot illustrations for adaptations of Robert E Howard's Lost Valley of Iskandar (graph 1974) and Swords of Shaharazar (graph 1976), and in comic books.

He became involved in the designing and building of stage sets for the 1980 and 1982 off-Broadway productions of Elaine Lee's Starstruck, and subsequently produced several comic-strip pieces based around Starstruck themes for Heavy Metal (November 1982-February 1983) and Starstruck (#1-#6 1985-1986).

For many years MWK has continued his association with the 1930s pulps crimefighting character The Shadow, coscripting and producing covers for a number of Shadow comic books and drawing the Shadow graphic novel Hitler's Astrologer (1988). Many portfolios of his work have been published. [RT]

other works: Abyss (graph 1970); Flash Gordon (graph 1971); Edgar R. Burroughs (graph 1974); Phantasmagoria (graph 1974); Wet Dreams (graph 1975); Dante's Inferno (graph 1975); MWK Fantasy Portfolio (graph 1978); Children of the Twilight (graph 1979); Heroes; Heavies and Heroines (graph 1980); Starstruck (graph 1980); Friends of Ol' Gerber (graph 1982) and Bird of Death (graph 1984).

further reading: The Studio (1979) by MWK; The Michael Wm Kaluta Treasury (1988) by MWK; The Mike Kaluta Sketchbook (1993) by MWK.

Michael William Kaluta


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.