“Starman, Freddie Burretti; The Man Who Sewed The World” comes to comics

In 1970, Freddie Burretti left his hometown of Bletchley and moved to London. Fate led him to become a close friend of David Bowie. Together, they created the Starman persona that propelled Bowie into rock super-stardom.

Now, in Starman, Freddie Burretti; The Man Who Sewed The World, cartoonist Paul B. Rainey adapts Lee Scriven’s musical of the same name which mythologises those events. He sets out to capture the positive and energetic spirit of the original production using the silent artform of comics.

Starman: The Man Who Sewed The World centres on Freddie Burretti, a young, working class gay man living in Bletchley, now part of the very young new town, Milton Keynes. Freddie is passionate about designing and making clothes and dreams of one day meeting his “Starman”.

Unfortunately, 1960s Bletchley isn’t an ideal place to be if you’re young, talented and gay with dreams of changing the world. Freddie’s family are concerned for him, his friends don’t understand him and he’s often the victim of torments from local thugs.

Eventually, Freddie decides to accept his uncle’s offer of work in his tailor’s shop and moves to London. There he establishes a life for himself in which he feels accepted by his new colleagues and friends.

One night during the early 1970s, he meets his “Starman”, a young, imaginative musician with dreams of pop super-stardom. The two strike up a close friendship and partnership that results in the creation of a pop persona the likes of which no one has seen before.

In 1972, after a memorable appearance on Top Of The Pops, Freddie’s Starman, appearing in a quilted jumpsuit created from fabric made from Liberty of London, achieves international success.

“My comic-strip version of the story is an adaptation of the musical written by Lee Scriven,” Paul says of his new, fantastic-looking new comic, “created with permission from and in cooperation with the author.

“I’ve attempted to capture the spirit of Lee’s production in forty pages using an artform that doesn’t have any sound.”

Starman: The Man Who Sewed The World is 40 pages, full-colour cover, two-colour interiors, cleverly designed and printed to look like a 7’’ single.

• Costing £7, Starman: The Man Who Sewed The World is only available from www.starmancomic.bigcartel.com – order now!

More about the stage play here

Fashion United: Fashion’s Unsung Designers; Bowie’s Freddie Burretti

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

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