Many people deserve honourable mention. For providing the initial sparks, helping to save the artwork and giving encouragement.
Oddly, one or two people gave hearty encouragement – excitedly urging me to undertake this web publishing project – only to ask a year later, when it was up and running “Er, what’s the ultimate aim of the site?” “Uh, what exactly are you trying to achieve, er exactly?” Brilliant.
Mum and Dad
For encouraging my drawing, sending me to art college and – crucially – keeping lots of my junior artwork! Not only did they not throw out most of it as so often seems to happen, but they actually made sure to keep it. My mum saw me throwing away older, original pages of this comic around 1979 or ’80 and exclaimed,“Oh no John! You should keep them – it’s an awful shame to throw them out”. She, and my dad kept some of the comic pages and reams of A4 pages.
My dad even boxed all the Marvel Star Wars comics, annuals and various books and put them in the attic. I was delighted to rediscover those too, early this year, 2010. If I could only find all the torn-off covers that were used as posters…
My wife’s been really good about this whole thing. I think she’s charmed by it too – but also has an eye on the possiblility of me returning to doing more illustration work instead of just neglecting my artistic abilities for Web/Graphic design work. Really though, for the amount of time I’ve spent on this she’s been brilliant. “So, how would you like to work for Lucas Arts?” she asks. I get buzzed when she aks that.
Rod & Leanne Hannah of Blue Milk Special
They have their own excellent Star Wars parody webcomic which has gained a really big following. I’m sure it’ll grow more and more and they deserve it. The work they’ve put in is huge (defyinglaws of space-time). They must work around the clock not just on producing and promoting their webcomic but on other quality projects, day jobs and somehow even having a life. So when Rod took the time to reply – at great length and in careful detail – to a technical query that I sent him in 2009 I was most grateful. he also expressed his and Leanne’s enthusiasm for SWA9. From then on we’ve been as Rod puts it “good neighbours”. I’ve been the main beneficiary though, because Rod has plugged SWA9 on his site many, many times and continues to get behind it, giving encouragementand contributing comments. For a long time, most of the site’s daily visitors came over from BMS!
Oh, I should also mention that their BMS site has been quite inspirational when I’ve been trying to set this site up and promote it. To be honest, much of what they do informs what I’ve done. Rod even gave careful and thoughtful input regarding the design and layout of this site when I rebuilt it and suggested promotional strategies. He’s very tactful and considerate – and when there’s cristicsm it’s always constructive. So Rod and Leanne: thank you.
My son Johnny is too young to read the comic yet but he’s aso been an inspiration. Johnny and I draw together a lot and the thrill he gets from seeing someone else conjure a picture out of nothing in a matter of seconds reminds me of my own early artistic life and aspirations. This inspires me to do more of it as an adult. The comic reminded me of what I originally wanted to do, and so does wee Johnny. So cathartic has all of this been, that this year I’m getting involved in Children’s Picture books for the first time! – after years of dull design work and wage-slavery.
I introduced Johnny to Star Wars after decades of having no further interest in it myself. And now, he’s got me into it again. His excitement excites me about all sorts of fun things that I forgot or just put aside as childish. I’ll never forget the first evening that we sat together, him on my lap aged 3 and a bit and we watchedEp.IV. Lots and lots of questions! I talked him through it mock-enthusiastically – the way parents do – shot by shot and found that I was really enjoying myself too. I began to see very clearly why I loved it so much, all those years ago! And why I’d spent years drawing it and adapting it into a comic of my own.
Thanks to all of you who read the site, vote for it at topwebcomics and follow it on Facebook. Special thanks for recommending it to your friends! Originally I thought I’d just scan it all and throw it up onto the web so people could stumble across it – reading it if they liked. After several months of doing much much more work that you’d expected to make it happen you realise that actually you really do want an audience for it. All that effort creates the desire for some sort of feedback. So you’re not just nerding-about in the wilderness, unaware if anyone cares! So thanks again to all of you for reading, and giving so many kind and amusing comments. It’s funny, I haven’t had one single negative bit of feedback! This is amazing when you consider the amount of anonymous ‘flaming’ that goes on on the web. The only one that that praised with reservation was very early on. A fellow tweeted
“Just found Star Wars age 9. It’s NUTS! He should have just stuck to the childhood artwork and ditched the adult commentary tho’.”
That was the first one and I still loved it.