Don't Answer Mike Kaluta

By | Tuesday, August 08, 2023 Leave a Comment
Mike Kaluta started his career in comics in the early 1970s, gaining notoriety doing work on a number of DC's mystery/horror titles like House of Mystery, Forbidden Tales of Dark Mansion, Weird Worlds, The Shadow, and Phantom Stranger. While he spent much of the '80s and '90s working on a variety of different comics for different publishers, including Marvel and Dark Horse, he's kept part of his career active in other industries, illustrating album covers for the likes of Glenn Danzig and Black Sabbath as well as providing art for a RPG publishers like White Wolf and Wizards of the Coast. I believe he's largely retired now -- I haven't seen any new work from him in about a decade, but he's in his mid-70s now so I can't fault him for that!

But what I wanted to bring up is another not-comics work he did back in 1984: the music video for Alan Parsons Project's Don't Answer Me...
The style is quite interesting, putting together a blend of stop motion and flat artwork and a bit of claymation to boot. If you're familiar with the different styles of the animation processes, you can probably pick out how they did each part on your own, but I've found a "making of" type of clip from back in the day that provides some additional insights. It's actually considerably more informative than the not-entirely-accurate, short-handed description that's on Wikipedia. (If you're unfamiliar with him, that's Kaluta himself in the video preview shot by the way.)
The video was nominated for Most Experimental Video at the first-ever 1984 MTV Video Music Awards, and ranked second place in the category of Best Video of the Year at the 1985 Awards, in part because it had been one of the most requested videos on MTV. The song reached number 15 on the Billboard charts in the US, and was the last ever Billboard Top 20 hit for The Alan Parsons Project.

It's not really comics per se, but definitely comics adjacent in several ways and is certainly a curious addendum to Kaluta's comic book career.
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