To me, SWa9 isn’t a thing: it’s a ‘place’
Experiences are subjective of course, especially ones wrapped up in memory and nostalgia and personal feelings. But that’s what this comic–and website–is for me. It’s a place.
And a happy one, at that. I could never expect others to feel the way I do when I go into it, but that’s how it feels for me. I look at the pages, especially the very earliest ones, and I’m transported back through time into that place in 1977, 1980–or whenever it was that the page was made. I even often feel like I’m inhabiting my young self at times, watching my smaller hand making those marks on the paper, my ankles and feet going numb on the bedroom floor as I kneel there for ages–engrossed in the act of artistic creation.
And perhaps the Star Wars soundtrack album is playing–for the thousandth time–on our cheap plasticky 1970s record player, with its terrible speakers? Probably, as I’m trying to immerse myself in the whole Star Wars experience, trying to recapture the experience of being at the cinema those 2 or 3 times. 2 or 3 times!–which only add up to about 4-6 hours. But 4-6 amazing hours!And really, I think that was the major part of it: re-capturing, re-living, re-experiencing. You couldn’t just Watch the film whenever you liked, or look up pictures online. It was also play-acting. I was imagining that I was making a professional comic that would be sold in the shops.
This site gets very low traffic really. George Lucas has never got in touch to tell me how touched he is by my childhood tribute to his film. It hasn’t been nominated for any awards. But that’s OK. It’s just my personal project, for fun, and escapism and nostalgia. I don’t fool myself that viewers and readers of this comic and blog feel the same way I do when I’m in this place. There’s a direct sort of electric connection between me now, and me then, doing this comic that I feel so powerfully; and I could never expect it to have the same effect on others who may have been around in 1977, and were Star Wars fans, but weren’t inside my mind at the time doing this comic and having my exact experiences.
But yes, for me, this webcomic and blog is a place to go to. And that at any rate is not that hard to imagine. We go to websites, and spend time in them having experiences. But actually, the physical comic when held in my 2 hands feels like a place too. I’m drawn into it. The memories flood back. The marks on the paper are like ancient footprints or fingerprints preserved for all time, and they resonate with me. I’m even reminded of how the groove in a vinyl record is cut by the sound vibrations from the original performance, leaving a direct imprint; then somehow, miraculously, a hundred years later you can run a needle around that remnant and the same sounds are brought back to life.
Yes, it’s a bit like that.