Starman – Bowie’s Stardust Years

Designer: Reinhard Kleist
Coloring: Thomas Gilke And Reinhard Kleist
Editor: SelfMadeHero
Publication date: Could 2023

I’ve written about this earlier than, however David Bowie has lots in frequent with a standard guide character. A historical past of colourful outfits, a hanging character, a listing of alter-egos, well-divided eras of her profession, an outsized popularity, and the record goes on and on. As such, Bowie has been the topic of quite a few books and graphic novels, together with a number of in recent times. There have been the 2020s Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns and Moonage Daydreamsand there was 2022 The Man Who Fell to Earth: The Official Film Adaptation (itself an adaptation of a novel). The newest is by Reinhard Kleist Starman – Bowie’s Stardust Years, this month from the SelfMadeHero editor.

Not approved by the Bowie Property or anybody affiliated with it, this new guide is probably the shrewdest tackle Bowie’s chronicle, changing into extra summary with the way in which it tells Bowie’s story and his relationship. together with his Ziggy Stardust character. On this guide, Bowie and Ziggy in some way occupy equal areas, feeling virtually like separate entities, united for the nice of each. There is a particular arc to this story, beginning with a struggling, extra human Bowie earlier than he finds the character of Ziggy Stardust inside him.

So, in a way, Bowie’s Stardust Yr looks like a conventional traditional rock biopic at occasions, the story of a genius catching lightning within the bottle and utilizing it to gas his rise. He does typical stuff inside that, juxtaposing Bowie (or is that Ziggy) and his new way of life, with the family and friends he inherently strikes away from changing into a worldwide star. These items is nice, and it offers a pleasant construction to the proceedings of the guide.

The place this one actually shines, nonetheless, is with the liberties it takes to make connections to how Bowie’s fame, expertise, and curiosity in alternate characters coalesce, giving rise to the legends of Ziggy and Bowie. This is not the primary time Kleist has used comics to inform a musician’s story, and it exhibits. Kleist additionally the designer behind the 2006 guide, Money: I see a darkness, and the 2017 guide, Nick Cave: Pity me. He brings a form of veteran confidence to this story.

Bowie's Stardust Years

And that apparently makes it simpler for him to seek out and intensify probably the most fascinating components of this story which are Bowie-specific. This consists of his relationship together with his troubled brother, the colours that outline his outfits, and the folks Bowie himself held in excessive esteem, particularly Andy Warhol.

The craftsmanship within the storytelling right here is beautiful, however the place the guide actually shines is with the works of Kleist. Kleist not solely captures Bowie’s look through the years on and off stage, however he additionally makes use of his artistry to convey what’s fascinating about Bowie. He accentuates sure eras with colour, whereas utilizing muted shades to set again the extra mundane ones. It makes use of extra kinetic cartoons to seize the facility of stage performances. Every part may be very properly performed.


The result’s one other guide that turns the web page on a rock legend completely suited to the medium. I feel the most important praise I can provide Bowie’s Stardust Years that’s, I learn it multi functional go, then went straight to my stereo to play the Ziggy Stardust album afterwards.

Starman – Bowie’s Stardust Years East out now.


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