186: The Back Cover!
c.1979/1980? | age 11/12? One last extra bit of the comic for you! Isn’t it awesome? Drum-roll…
Postscript: It’s the back cover!
Woweee-zowee-kablooey! Amazing. Yes, I said the comic was at an end but, my goodness—it just keeps on giving. Okay, maybe not. But quiz-time! Who recognises those drawings?
Back in those days, if you were a fan who couldn’t watch Star Wars whenever you liked, you took your sci-fi thrills wherever you could get them.
An animated TV series called Battle of the Planets hit the screen from Japan and it did the job pretty well if you were a youngster. Repetitive, yes; but visually better I think, than anything else that was available on telly. It was the first time I’d seen glowing back-lighting effects in TV animation. They were able to produce realistic laser and fire effects. For the time it was also quite richly coloured. Every week, a robotic alien monster attacked earth. G-Force battled against it and always – always – ALWAYS! – the giant robot would resort to breaking up into lots of smaller robots. How times have not changed. I still think Japanese animation is mostly bloody awful. I hate the style of it. And don’t get me started on Manga drawings that all the kids copy now… but I LOVED this—at the time—when I was a kid.
Characters would get all teary too. All glisteny-eyed and quiver-lipped—when something terribly sad happened, like a child losing their parents. I never saw that before in TV animation either. Weird! I mean, it ws even more sentimentl and mushy than the stuff that came from the States, and believe me, I saw much more of Little House on the Prairie than any kid should ever see. (Or Little House on the Vomit, as my dad used to call it).
Every Friday afternoon after school, John S and I would race home to see Battle of the Planets. And Gabby, my wife, says she loved it too. But I really must have loved it because I made a comic out of it! (left)
Anyway, you took your TV sci-fi where you could get it. Or “Skee-Fee” as I mispronounced it, for a time. Space 1999, Battlestar Galactica (ugh), Buck Rogers (oh dear), and even Jason of Star Command (one of the most laughable atrocities ever committed to celluloid). Desperation eh? I felt like such a traitor to Star Wars, but it was a guilty pleasure.
In retorspect, I think I might have singled out Battlestar Galactica for particular hatred because it was done so well. Buck Rogers in the in the 25th Century was OK with me. It was pretty crap—not as bad as Jason of Star Command mind you—but enjoyable enough with some likeable, charismatic main characters, but it was no threat to Star Wars. Battlestar kind of was, and had the insolent, upstartish, gall to try to be. I was a true Star Wars loyalist.
For me though, Space 1999 was it. I’d also seen it before Star Wars when I was around 8 years old. So it couldn’t be accused of being an upstart challenger to Star Wars. It was the greatest thing I’d seen between occasional TV screenings of Jason & the Argonauts—my favourite film until Star Wars hit—and Star Wars hitting. Space 1999 was the first reason I ever had for wanting an audio cassette recorder—so I could tape it from the TV.
So where next for Star Wars age 9? Well, there are other comics which I could upload, but sometimes I wonder if I should. The views/traffic on this site are extremely low—I mean, between 4 hits per day and 30 on an update day. So, I’m going to have to think it over. I could spend the time on other things instead, like my Between * Wars comic or other artistic pursuits.
However, some of you might remember me mentioning this ages ago on the Facebook page, in the early days of SWa9.
One morning—in late 1979, perhaps?—I had the most exciting vivid dream. My big sister Maria was up and about getting ready for school while I was still sleeping. She had the radio on as always. A song seeped into my subconscious and mingled with Star Wars. I awoke before the wonderful dream concluded—much to my disappointment, because I didn’t often have brilliant Star Wars dreams—but set to work on a new comic. Proof if it were needed, that the subconscious mind is a creative force, is shown below (what a note on which to end!)
Yes, the song that had seeped into my dreams was by Abba. So, in my excitement I created some of this silly comic. I was buzzing, because it had felt as if I was inside Star Wars, right there with the characters, in their world.
Two other Star Wars comics that I did work on were my ‘Empire Strikes Back’ adaptation, and another one done before that, which was what I thought the sequel might be like, based on nothing but the name of the upcoming film, which had been revealed. The cover was copied from a Carmine Infantino comic splash page and then I just made the story up as I went along. It was pretty terrible, and silly. I will Blog about these soon, in this site’s Blog section».
So, hands-up (in the comments below) who wants to see them?
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