(early-mid 1978 | 9-10 yrs old) Savour this page reader… savourrrr. Ok, never mind. I will for you. These ones are always my favourites. And get this! Chewie’s doing his 1970s Kung-Fu moves!

Art Notes

This has got to be early to mid-1978 because I was still doing the triangular and diamond shaped eyes. So not as early as the late ’77/early 78 ones (below) which are very childish, but not too long after either. I must have learnt a heck of a lot, drawing-wise, in a few short months from Star Wars photos and Howard Chaykin’s art in Marvel’s Star Wars Weekly comic. This is also the yellow skin period, which I’ve discussed elsewhere. It’s weird how you become blind to aspects of your own artwork. I mentioned earlier how «rendering space as white seems quite natural after a while, when you can’t be arsed filling it all in with thin black marker.

imperial officer shot

Above: A few months before, «really weird artwork!

Some of you reading this are probably artists/illustrators and you’ll be familiar with the experience of rendering a study from life, convinced that it looks great, you walk away for a bit, come back to it and see it with fresh eyes. Annnnd it’s—arseways! You really do need to keep looking at it in a mirror as you go, to keep an objective view of the colours, tones and form. It’s surprisingly easy, despite the greatest concentration, to end up with a skewed face with green skin!

Oh, and the laser bolts on panel 1 look to have been added years later in coloured pencil. It pleases me to see how some pages done when I was 9 or 10, were actually deemed by me worthy of staying in the book, even when I was 12, 13 or 15. So many others were ruthlessly binned as I got better at drawing. Maybe I have my mum to thank for that? She was the one who asked me not to throw them away, when she saw them in the waste-paper basket in my bedroom.

Hai Yah! Hong Kong Chewie

Chewie showing off his martial arts moves!

Chewie showing off his martial arts moves!

“What the! (statement)”
“‘E’s right (Cockney)”

I particularly like this page. There’s so much happening. A hapless trooper gets dramatically blasted after wandering into the room («possibly returning from the toilet).

Luke Skywalker a la the Beano or Dandy

“Phew!” Luke: Beano/Dandy style

And Chewie gives us an extra little nugget, not shown in the movie. Sigh… George Lucas, he just lacked the vision of a 9-10 year old, you see? Chewie does a sort of Kung Fu move on Luke for daring to criticise Han. Luke gives a little Beano-style whistle—or ‘phew’ exhalation of relief—and he thanks Han. Do you think I’d jumbled it up with a vague memory of the funny “Now Chewbacca I’m just going to put these binders on you…” bit?

Below, see «another example of the Beano/Dandy-style ‘phew-whistle’, from the Mos Eisley «Docking Bay 94 scene.

Han Solo does a Beano/Dandy whistle

“Phew—too close for comfort!” «See Full Page

Kung Fu had been a popular series on telly back then for a couple of years; part of a sort of general martial arts craze. («See Ben’s “HAI!”) There was even a hit called Kung Fu Fighting and lots of kids were enrolling in Judo classes. I recall my bigger cousin Howard, a Kung Fu show fan, when the relatives visited us in Scotland in the ’70s’; getting his kid-size Karate gear on and going through his moves in the sunny back garden – egged on by his parents. I was dead impressed.

(Oh–by the way, I suspect that Han’s “sneakin’ around” line was added later.)

Between * Wars Comic

If you’re keen on the martial arts crazes of the Seventies, you might check out my other (grown-up) comic: Between * Wars.

between wars kung fu

The Kung-Fu story-arc my Between * Wars 1970s style webcomic

Next: another page from this version of the comic adaptation. Hurrah!