Reinhard Kleist: Starman, Bowie’s Stardust Years

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Reinhard Kleist first became known to a wide audience in 1994, with the book Lovecraft, and made his international breakthrough in 2006 with the graphic novel “Johnny Cash” I See A Darkness. Both books were awarded the prestigious Max and Morris prize, Reinhard later receiving the German Children’s Literature Award for “The Boxer” In 2013. In 2016, an Olympic Dream was awarded the Luchs-Buchpreis, the Katholischen Kinderund Jugendbuchpreis, and the Gustav Heinemann Friedendpreis.

In 2017, Reinhard once again tackled one of musics greatest storytellers in Nick Cave: Mercy On Me, which was simultaneously released in many languages. In 2018 he’s was honoured for his work with the Max And Moritz Prize for best German language Comic Book Artists.💕 In addition to his graphic novels, Reinhard Kleist has illustrated many books including George Orwell’s 1984 and Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes. His work regularly appears on the Suddeutsche Zeitung Magazine, FAZ, Arte and Phoenix. He holds Workshops all across the world and regularly performs live drawing events on stage.

In 1972, the rock n roll messiah Ziggy Stardust was born. His provocative play on sexual identity and gender roles laid the foundation for David Bowles ascent to becoming one of the most successful pop musicians of all time. 💕 Reinhard Kleists Starman weaves the gripping tale of this outrageous characters genesis, rise and fall, as well as David’s hapless efforts in the London music scene before Ziggy’s arrival, and of the struggles he experienced with his own creation at the height of his fame. As Bowie transforms himself, ever more frenetically, into the egocentric rock star he first conceived, the extravagant lifestyle he had only ever imagined threatens to engulf him and bring everything down before his eyes…… ❤️

Reinhard Kleist’s, Starman Bowies Stardust Years, a graphic novel that takes the reader back in time to the birth of both Ziggy Stardust and the birth of David’s career in the sixties. Two separate storylines that drop in and out as the storyline progresses. jumping back and forth in the Soul Time Line Continuum, in not too dissimilar a way as the recent Bowie Art Piece “Stardust” Anyone who loves Bowie, loves Bowie totally. digesting the grand masters legacy 1000’s of times over. from many different formats and various multimedia interpretations. Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars the album itself tells the story through music and song, Then D. A. Pennebaker’s Ziggy Stardust The Motion Picture documents the storyline, released both as a long Player and a feature film. After all the subject matter is part of our DNA.

So, what new could one possibly learn from a reinterpretation of Bowies rock opera tragedy, Ziggy Stardust?? I digested the contents of this book in silence. with full focus. The art is exceptional and consistent throughout Telling the tale of how David started the career of both Iggy Pop and Lou Reed… How he met and fell in love with Angie. Of course, being a graphic novel it is very visual, describing how Bowie came across all of Ziggy’s outfits at a fashion show created by Kansai Yamamoto Bowie bought the whole collection, the clothes that brought Ziggy Stardust to life. (now this was something that I didnae know ❤ ).

If one is not familiar with story behind Ziggy Stardust and the beginnings of Bowie’s musical legacy and how it came into being, then this graphic novel is educational and very entertaining. Anyone with a slight understanding and love of Bowie will love this book. Even giving reason for the fall of Ziggy Stardust, How the personality of Ziggy was larger than David Bowies, The alter ego took voice and Rock N Roll Suicide became a self-fulfilling prophesy. There is quite a disturbing bit at the end, where he sets fire to Ziggy’s wardrobe, OMG I thought. Nahhh he didnae otherwise there wouldn’t have been a V&A Bowie Exhibition. So that bit is nae factual, However, the storyline does describe this burning as the phoenix rising from the ashes, the rebirth and metamorphosis into Aladdin Sane and The Thin White Duke.

Indeed, it is a very pretty book and will find a loving home in many a Bowie fans, Bowie Library because I believe it is the first of its kind. I listened to Ziggy Stardust The Motion Picture long player after I had finished reading the book. I have the 50th Anniversary remaster, it serves as a wonderful musical accompaniment offering the storyline a musical dimension.. Bringing young Bowie back to life.

In the pre-Ziggy flashback chapters, there is a spectral Major Tom guiding proceedings and Bowie along the path of fame and fortune David’s higher self?? Indeed Major Tom is a reoccurring theme turning up in Ashes To Ashes and Blackstar. However Ziggy was the metamorphosis that began the death and rebirth of characters that made the grand master so unique, forever tempting the pallet of his devotees, Inspiring many great bands over 4 decades of artistic brilliance.

Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert