Michael Kaluta, The Shadow

Michael Kaluta caricature
Caricature: Michael Kaluta

“Michael William Kaluta (Michael Kaluta) was born in Guatemala in 1947, is a comic artist and writer best known for his acclaimed 1970s adaptation of the pulp magazine hero (The Shadow) with writer Dennis O’Neil. He worked on Howard the Duck, Fearsome Four (Midtown Comics), “The Battle of Shiraz”, Flash Gordon, Venus novels.

Kaluta’s influences and style are drawn from pulp illustrations of the 1930s and the turn of the century poster work of Alphonse Mucha – his signature motif is elaborate decorative panel designs – rather than the comic books of the Silver Age.”World of Krypton” backup story in Superman #240. His first cover for a comic book was House of Mystery #200 (March 1972). Associated during the 1970s with Bernie Wrightson and Jeffrey Jones, he contributed illustrations to Ted White’s Fantastic and Amazing. Kaluta co-created Eve in Secrets of Sinister House, a horror comics “host” character later turned into a supporting character in The Sandman. He and writer Dennis O’Neil produced a comics adaptation of The Shadow for DC. Comics historian Les Daniels noted that “Kaluta’s style [on The Shadow] is an homage to Graves Gladney, master of the pulp magazine covers of the 1930s.”


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