Here’s another “I can draw like the pros page“. But a ruler wouldn’t go amiss.

Script Notes

the 1977 star wars novelisation

The source of the better-quality writing! And Jon Berkey’s cover painting is marvellous. I need a poster of this.

When I returned to this comic I was interested in some of the out-of-place nuggets of quality writing that appeared in it here and there. I remembered, even after 30 odd years that it must have come from the 1977 novelisation. So, I was happy to find that I still had it – and settled down to read. It’s quite an enjoyable read too. However, the writing style is weirdly inconsistent. It wavers between a shooting script in one paragraph – and beautifully poetic literature in the next!

Chapter 1 is indeed lovely:

It was a vast shining globe and it cast a light of lambent topaz into space-but it was not a sun”

Good grief! Our George is a gifted writer! (I need a dictionary…)

“Long streaks of intense energy slid close past its (Tantive’s) hull, a multihued storm of destruction like a school of rainbow remoras fighting to attach themselves to a larger, unwilling host”.

I immediately suspected that George Lucas – the credited author – was either a bit of a magpie, or he was assisted by another writer to spruce it up, or fill-in bits. Well, as it turns out,Alan Dean Foster was not only the helping hand – but he ghost-wrote the whole thing. He of Splinter of the Mind’s Eyeand the Alien novelisation.

…their faces as worry-wrinkled as their uniforms,”

I’m pleased that I still have this book from all those years ago. Pity I painted the inside-back cover with black poster paint. Why?

Art Notes: Something Stinks!

I was going to be a comic artist

I’m guessing that this page is from around 1982 when I was in secondary school. So I was about 14 years old. You can be sure that I kept all knowledge of this stuff from my classmates who were all into AC/DC by then. What I did let slip was enough for me to be branded “Spacer”. It was pretty hurtful but I suppose if they’d waited until I was in art college with long hair and dressed like a cross between a hippy and a head banger it would have taken on a certain caché. After my 2000AD comicwas kicked from one end of the school to the other – before I’d even read it – I decided to keep a low profile where Sci-Fi and comics were concerned! Good old sellotape.

Anyway, my mind was set: I was going to be a comic artist.


“the dark smoking patch adds to the rebels terror!”

Check out the brown smoke. I reckon the Empire’s chosen to enter the ship via the Sanitation Block!


panel of the 1977 marvel star wars comic

Marvel’s version of my comic, 1977 – illustrated by Howard Chaykin

That “WHINE” type looks good doesn’t it? Mini-me can’t take any credit though. It’s from Marvel’s expressive – albeit somewhat scruffy first issue. I’d like to name the letterer but I can’t find a credit for him I’m afraid.

Marvel’s Version

There are good reasons why Issue#1 looks the way it does:

  • serious time-pressures,
  • hardly any reference imagery for the artist because the film was still in production (!) and
  • penciller Howard Chaykin had to ink it all himself.

Looking at it nowadays, as an adult artist, I admire it’s expressiveness and brushwork. As a child, with little chance of seeing the film again anytime soon, what I wanted was literal, pictorial accuracy.

Next: Big-time blasting and violence!

↓ Transcript
Panel 1
'And inside the captive ship, a handful of brave men, their faces as worry-wrinkled as their uniforms, wait alert.'
Black and white drawing of the rebel soldiers in the white corridor of the Tantive IV
'--- their gaze never leaving the airlock'

Panel 2
'The clanging footsteps above -'
The airlock begins to melt and grown smoke rising from it.
'- most of all the dark smoking patch - add to the rebels terror.'

Panel 3
The droid See Threepio says, "Why we came down here is beyond me -- we were safe up at Captain Antilles quarters."

Panel 4
'Then another explosion rattled the corridor. Throwing the two droids See Threepio and Artoo Detoo, the smaller robot, about like ball bearings in a tin'

Panel 5
Threepio asks, "Did you hear that Artoo?" Artoo replies with a "WHINE"

Panel 6
"That's right" says 3PO, "They've shut down the main drive. We're doomed..."