imperial stormtrooper by howard chaykin

A nod to Howard Chaykin’s version

mid-1978 | age 9-10 If you’re confused, by the narrative flow here: read the little panel with the stormtrooper firing—before you look at the big bottom one.

Script Notes: Killer Writing

Ah yes, the ol’ “Let’s go” line. So good—that I used it «again! Some of the dialogue is adapted (putting it kindly) from the Marvel comic. Sort of.

Can Stormtroopers whisper? (dotted outlines on speech bubbles) They’ve got these condensor mikes in their helmets… oh hang it, who cares? There’s no sound in Space either.

But it’s too late…
as Han Solo quickly demonstates!

Art Notes: Beano School?

chewbacca and stormtrooper

Fancy-pants shadow effect

On panel 2 there’s a shadow effect down one side of the helmet. I’m surprised! I like to think it was cast from Chewie’s big strong arm.

chewbacca jumps

Great Jumpin’ Wookies!

In the large bottom panel, Chewie leaps and lands a kick on the Stormtrooper’s back, while his friend recklessly opens fire! So «more Martial Arts moves from the Wookie eh? And, see the effect that’s been drawn in behind him? The speed-lines following him in a arc are pretty standard; but there’s also a funny pop or starburst graphic element, with radiating lines to show where he was before he jumped. Is this derived from the likes of Beano, Whoopee and Whizzer & Chips comics? Very sort of Minnie the Minx!

The dead stormtrooper hand sticking up in the foreground is a curious one too. I’d like to take all of the  credit for it, but I think Warlord comic used to place that sort of thing in the foreground of their Battle-field scenes. A dead SS Soldier’s hand amongst barbed-wire with burnt out tanks in the background: Tobruk or whatever. But then again, I also seem to recall a ’70s Leon Uris novel cover that went one better (or was it Clive Cussler? or Len Deighton? or Sven Hassel?). But I copied Warlord, who copied someone else: It featured the skeleton hand of a dead SS soldier sticking up–with rotted bits hanging off! It made a big impression on me whenever I saw it in bookshops and newsagents.

Weird child