c.1983? | age 14–15? Not much to laugh at today, I’m afraid! Here’s my 14 or 15 year old self acting more like a proper comic artist. I really wanted to be one, right up to art college. My flatmate Maurice P and I even did an essay ‘A sense of place’ in comic form!

Mine was about our weird and murky 1985 student flat (If I ever find it I’ll upload it for you). I have to say though: a book I’m reading about 2000ad comic makes me wonder if I would have enjoyed our dream job… Charming anecdotes such as those about 2000ad writers and editors literally pissing on the artwork that was sent in by the South American artists. But there were upsides too, such as the editors joining the fight to get artists, writers and letterers credited in the comic and getting the artists work back to them after it was used.

Film Notes

cell 2187

More misinformation courtesy of SWa9

I’ve just realised—watching this scene again—that Luke doesn’t actually shoot the door. He pushes a button.

That’s it?

And judging by the state of the ceiling, Leia’s probably lucky to be alive. “You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!” If George did have Luke blast the door off in the film, it’d be another harking back to another movie genre. Namely, those Westerns, in which the bad guys blast their pals out of the jailhouse with dynamite, and nearly kill their pals in the process.

Budget restraints perhaps? Or did Alan Dean Foster (who actually wrote wrote the novelisation) just want to go one better? George Lucas was disappointed in, and very stressed about the results he was getting during the shoot. Budget troubles were partly due to 20th Century Fox demanding that they hurry along, making George and producer Gary Kurtz waste yet more money on overtime pay to get it done more quickly with less finesse. The Elstree Studios workers were doing his head in too because of their union rules. They were unwilling to do unpaid overtime (good for them!). All tools downed at 5. Ah yes, those were the days…

On Adaptations

You can tell how dependent I was on the novel and the comics when I was making this. No Star Wars on DVD, videotape or even 8mm film back then. (Actually, you could get short versions in 8mm, if you had the money). How times have changed!

But it was fun pulling different sources together to create a fuller re-telling! Much more creative. It also makes for a more interesting adaptation, doesn’t it? And justifies its existence by being different from the film. At least that’s my present perspective on things. I probably said this before, but it seems a bit pointless—especially nowadays—to make a comic that’s slavishly faithful to the film. A replication. We’re so familiar with our favourite films, which are so accessible, now that it’s a bonus to get a different angle on things—even alternative dialogue. I actually loved it back then, that Al Williamson’s art in Marvel’s Empire Strikes Back comic adaptation was accurate—so literal, compared to Howard Chaykin’s version of Star Wars. But now, I love Howard’s—and Roy Thomas, the writer’s take—because it adds a new dimension!

P.S: Does Luke’s helmet look a bit like ‘PREDATOR’ in Panel 1?