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‘Starman: Bowie’s Stardust Years’ OGN (review)

Written and Illustrated by Reinhard Kleist
Published by SelfMadeHero


This is the second graphic novel that I have read concerning David Bowie. The first one was written and drawn by Mike Allred and it was excellent. This one is a bit different though as it seems to be the beginning of a series of David Bowie graphic novels coming out from Reinhard Kleist. If they are as good as this one, then I am all for it.

The book takes place in the year 1972.

We get to see the beginnings of the Bowie character Ziggy Stardust. Before Ziggy came into being, we get to see Bowie failing in the London music scene. We get to see what led up to Bowie having to conjure up this character and inhabiting him.

We also get to see what Ziggy Stardust is all about.

The story follows Ziggy and the different musical adventures he went on. As Ziggy’s life starts to expand, so does Bowie’s.

In fact,  Bowie’s life starts to become one of excess and craziness. The same starts to hold true for Ziggy’s. It is very intriguing how the two personalities correlate, both creatively and psychologically.

The artwork in this book does a lot of the heavy lifting. It really feels like artwork from a time that has long past. It also allows us into the mindset of Bowie/Stardust at every moment.  Kleist doesn’t even try to emulate Allred’s style from the previously mentioned book. Instead, he just blazes his own crazy trail here.

We get to see the rise of this character. We also get to see the fall of him as well. It is all very well researched and well done. It is also emotional as we get a sense of  what it must have been like for Bowie/Stardust during that time period. The downfall starts to take both down personally as they are both caught up in the spiral.

The creator of this book, Reinhard Kleist, did an amazing job. I look forward to the future installments. He really penetrates into what the character was about and who Bowie was. He also gives us a complete snapshot of an artist in the really strange year and time that he was in his peak.


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