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Mike Kaluta is regarded in many circles as the best of all the fine illustrators who have brought us the adventures of the Shadow, and it was on stories like this one (The Shadow #6, 1974) that his rep was made.
This was Kaluta’s last issue doing the interior art; deadlines and his painstaking approach (as I understand it) led to his premature departure. This, his fifth and last for the 70’s DC ongoing title, came after what seemed like a long wait after a rather jarring fill-in by the great Frank Robbins; one gets the idea (and I do seem to recall reading this, but I forget now) that he was determined to pull out all the stops for his swan song. I think the results bear that out; there’s an appealing looseness (probably caused by haste) and sloppy ink line but it adds immeasurable mood to this dark tale of murder and corruption in Chinatown.
While there are a fair amount of the usual noir-type Chinatown adventure tropes here, the Asians are not depicted in a stereotypical fashion, which is no less that we had come to expect from Denny O’Neil and the artist.
Click on the link below to read the rest of the story.
(via Diversions of the Groovy Kind: Groove’s Faves: “Night of the Ninja” by O’Neil and Kaluta)