Star Wars: Marveling
The day has just flown by, and I’m still not entirely ready for tomorrow’s day trip to Pittsburgh Comicon, but I thought this would make for an appropriate pre-convention entry.
This is my original beat-to-hell paperback Marvel Edition of Star Wars, which you can tell I read one or two or four hundred and sixty-eight times. I received this in a shrink-wrapped bundle for either Christmas or my birthday, packaged with the Star Wars novelization and Splinter of the Mind’s Eye.
I’m hoping to meet Roy Thomas tomorrow, since he’s the writer and editor behind these – the only comic books I collected, however briefly, when I was little. Some relevant excerpts from Collect All 21! –
I saw this (paperback) version before I saw the actual comic books themselves and I was stunned when, at my friend Trevor’s birthday party, I saw the explosion of colors – particularly in the two-thirds-page illustration of the Falcon’s jump to hyperspace – in the giant-sized Marvel color edition he’d gotten.
The comic books did make it into our house eventually, because I think Dad bought a bagged set of them, maybe in a couple three-packs. The taffy-pulled interpretation of Ben Kenobi’s death by lightsaber kind of weirded me out, like the one I had in a Spider-Man Read-Along-Record book where the villain is transforming from a human to a lizard and there’s a portrait where he’s got a human face, but he’s green and yellow.
I was never a comics kid except for Star Wars and even that didn’t last very long. I had the next six issues, I think, that continued the heroes’ stories beyond the original movie, but really wasn’t in for the long haul.
I do remember an issue starring Han and Chewbacca and a rabbit-alien and a guy named Don Wan Kihotay (imagine my astonishment in high school at realizing this had been a literary reference). And there were others with a red-bearded space pirate and a girl pirate named Jolli, who lives in my brain in a flashback sequence showing her as a little girl watching her father leave his family behind, and then in her death scene, when Han plants a kiss on her cold lips.
I took these comics on a family vacation to Myrtle Beach, I think, and read them in the back seat of the car during the drive down. I was reading that bit about Jolli when my aunt – the same one who’d given me the paperbacks – asked my if I ever read any “regular” comics. Like, you know, “Archie.” I did have a couple of those little volumes of Archie and Jughead, but Star Wars had its hooks in me pretty damn deep by this point and was first choice from here on out.
I’m sure I read those Star Wars comic books into dust, but I’m glad I still have this crumbling-glued, brittle-taped paperback around.
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