c.1982/83? | age 14/15? Another single panel page today, readers. I think I might do another bonus page tomorrow too, like I did yesterday.

Art Notes

“Wedge is the only Y-Wing left – that T.I.E. just cancelled another one!”

Cancelled? Is that how one refers to a fallen comrade?

Like all of the later pages drawn in black marker, this has colour. I was inspired by my pal Niall F who coloured-in the last few pages of my annual No.1 that I lent him when we were in primary school in Ballymore Eustace.

The cheapskates at Marvel UK printed many of the pages in that first annual in black and white! Worse still was that the annual that they gave us the next Xmas—after a whole year’s wait—was a bad quality reprint of that godawful Dragon Lords series that we’d already had to suffer month after month in the weekly comic. And that annual no.2 was not only printed badly, but it was in pink/magenta and not much else! So it looked even more horrible. A bit of a disappointment on Xmas day 1979, to say the least. As I said before, I appreciate Carmine Infantino’s unique style and vision and skill now, but back then I just went arggh!

star wars Annual number 1 1978

Annual no.1: 1978

So, Niall F did such an impressive job of colouring in the pages in annual no.1—with his small pack of colouring pencils—that I just had to have a go too. On my own stuff. And I’m so glad that I did.

It’s a pity that I didn’t colour this one more though. It’s difficult to tell what you’re actually looking at in the background.

Notice that some klutz of an Imperial gunner has fired straight across the trench, missing the X-Wing and hitting his colleague on the other side. It also looks a but like an arcade game. I loved Space Invaders at that time, but I rarely had the 10p coins in my pocket so I could play it. Thankfully.

If I’d been younger I bet I’d have added a spiky “AIIIEEE!” speech balloon coing from the exploding gun turret.

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Other News: A L I E N

alien comic adaptation cover

Lavish and glossy: an impressive presentation – you’ll agree

(This section, was written a few years ago. See Alien Age 11 webcomic now) Some of you know from Facebook and Twitter that I stole a few hours on and off over the weekend working on the next childhood comic project. When I was about 10 or 11 —I think—I heard about this amazing new Sci-Fi horror film called ALIEN. I can’t remember how I first heard of it. Probably from the cinema listings page of the Leinster Leader newspaper. But Niall F, John S and I were very excited about it. None of us had seen it because we were underage and still in primary school—and I wouldn’t see it until around 1981 or 2! But somehow we actually knew about the chest-burster scene, which at that time was shocking in the extreme (still is). I hadn’t seen it, but that was no obstacle to adapting it into a comic. In fact, it was an added incentive! I could try to conjure it into reality myself, visualise it, immerse myself in it and relive it over and over. As could my friends, through seeing my adaptation.

I was still in primary school—just about—when I started drawing the adaptation. And I remember showing the first few pages that I’d done, to John S as we walked down the country road from our houses to the village school. It’s funny, I used to spend many many hours diligently working hard on these comics, which are now treasured items—and there was only one copy of each one!—but I’d lend them to friends to take home and read!

I was kind of in the entertainment business, for free and on the tiniest scale.

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