mid-late 1978 | age 9-10 Harrison Ford gave us yet another good laugh in this single shot, in which he takes the call from upstairs. I always look forward to his performance here. The sideways tilt of the head–like a secretary who holds the phone between her shoulder and jaw, “We’re fine… now” and his grimace when he realises he’s run out of ideas, “Uh, how are you?”

“Slight weapons malpunchion–
slight weapons malfunchion–
Aw stuff it!”

I wonder why my Han Solo says “(amen)” here? It doesn’t make any sense. “(Ahem)”, might make sense, but not amen. I don’t get it. You mightn’t believe this readers, but sometimes, even I feel a bit embarrassed publishing this stuff—even though I can always blame it on my child-self’s naiveté. Yes, I do cringe sometimes.

Literary Appreciationment

laurence olivier reads SWa9

Sir Larry reading SWa9 last Friday. It’s good enough for him—why not you too?

So, there you are; endorsed by Sir Larry, a Knight of the Realm. But despite its greatness, I will admit that once again, we’ve got some bad planning here by the young artist/writer/letterer. You’ll need to read the dialogue in the bottom in some sort of mixed-up order for it to make sense. It doesn’t seem to proceed from left of panel to right, but is just sort of placed… anywhere! See if you can figure out how it goes! (hint: I think “Aw stuff it” was meant to be the last thing he says).

You know, my friend Dermot R recently recommended reading, not only poetry, but any fine writing–aloud–in order to truly appreciate its “cadence and rhythm”. Try it with this comic page and imagine you are Laurence Olivier. You may just gasp:

“Oh my word! Everything—everything!—which we’ve held dear… all of the rules… all of the literary benchmarks… We must tear them up. We must smash them! Indeed, this work heralds a brave new world for the modern writer and luvvie.

But! – oh, ohhhhh…. so beautiful (sniff).”


Art Notes

I’d place this page at mid-late 1978, perhaps early 1979 stylistically. And interestingly, we get another attempt at moody lighting on Solo’s face in the bottom panel, and maybe even an attempt to model some sort of rounded form with those shadows. But yes, it is possible that that tonal modelling was added later—George Lucas style! As you may be starting to notice, after 109 pages, pretty much anything is possible in this thing.

What do you think of Chewie in the top panel—about to smash the controls with his fist? Until Han stops him.

And isn’t it curious that I did my colouring-in on those stormtrooper armour shoulder thingies in yellow..?