Wednesday, December 22, 2010
BAG IT AND BOARD IT: Starstruck
STARSTRUCK #s 1-13
Elaine Lee, writer
Michael Wm. Kaluta, artist
Lee Moyer, painter
Charles Vess, "Galactic Girl Guides" inker (issues 1-3, 5-7, 9)
Todd Klein, letterer
John Workman, "Galactic Girl Guides" letterer (issues 1-4)
Scott Dunbier, editor
There's way more to say about this series than I'm going to get to in this post, but the long and the short of it is this is one crazy book that's gotta be read to be believed. Although it's existed in a few iterations produced by various publishers over the years, I first became aware of Starstruck when Elaine Lee, Michael Kaluta and Lee Moyer gave a long interview to Newsarama in advance of IDW's "remastered" printing. Crazy intrigued, I bought and read the first issue, and was utterly confused. Likewise with the second issue. When the third issue hit the stands, I bought it but made the bold decision to not read anymore until I had in my possession all 13 issues. I was convinced there was something here I'd love, but each issue is so densely packed, my feeble brain just couldn't hold onto all of the information during the month between chapters.
So then, with the series completed (for now!), I finally read through the books over the span of about a week or so, and man, did I love it. Talk about world building--between the intricately woven main and backup stories, the text introductions and encyclopedic "excerpts," Lee and co. have presented readers with a fully realized glimpse of a far-off future gone wonky, full of intrigue and with zaniness to spare. (By the way, nothing is extraneous; the details, "facts" and "rumors" shared in those text sections are a crucial part of the overall story.) Bringing things fully to fruition is Kaluta's gorgeous and intricately detailed artwork. In stark contrast to so many books where backgrounds are simply ignored and any sense of location is sacrificed for endless talking heads, Kaluta draws from a bottomless well of imagination and gleefully reveals every nook and cranny of each of the stories' settings, be it planet, spaceship or "recreation station." And while I haven't read this series in any of its previous forms, I can't imagine it without Moyer's painting. (Also, in case you missed it above, lettering by Todd Klein!)
I have no idea how this thing can be collected, although it is supposed to be, in March of 2011. In the meantime, it's well worth tracking down the individual issues. The cycles-spanning storyline rewards close--and repeated--readings, and Kaluta's art can and should be pored over, over and over again.