It's Mike Kaluta's birthday today, and here's a great early piece to celebrate. Round about 1972, our Mike was regularly contributing to Joe Orlando's horror anthologies House Of Mystery & House Of Secrets, when Joe happened to mention that DC had just got the rights to all of Edgar Rice Burroughs' characters, and was there any one of them Kaluta fancied doing? Natch, the words 'John Carter Of Mars!' leapt out of Mike's lips, but, as Orlando said: "No, no. Murphy Anderson has wanted to do that since he was a kid." As a newcomer, Kaluta knew he wasn't going to get any of the big characters, so offered to do Carson Of Venus, as seen here from Korak, Son Of Tarzan ish 46 ( confusingly titled '1st DC Issue' on the cover. I never understood that. ) Anyway, it was a great series, and here's the brilliant first chapter.
Of course, we can't talk about Mike Kaluta without mentioning the Green Lantern / Green Arrow story he ( sort of ) appears in. Midway through Denny O' Neil & Neal Adams' legendary 'relevancy' run on the book, The Emerald Crusader finds himself in a plastic, manufactured city of the future, when this happens:
The story goes that Adams needed a name for the McGuffin in that issue and, thinking Mike's name hilariously funny, decided to use it. However, when he showed that issue to his dad, Mr. Kaluta senior wasn't quite as impressed, and told Mike to tell Denny he was going to sue. Both Kaluta's ( or Kalooota's ) meant it as a joke, but O'Neil took them completely seriously and immediately went out and got himself a lawyer. So, if you're planning on using a pal's name in the next issue of Green Lantern, remember, always ask their dad's permission first.
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