The Shadow of the Past, part 1: Ralph Bakshi in Starlog
In addition to the heaping helping of Star Wars Holiday Special goodness that comic show served up a couple weeks back, I was also treated to some Lord of the Rings memory-triggers.
Within the same Starlog magazine (Number 19, Feb. 1979), for starters, are five pages devoted to an interview with Ralph Bakshi about the brand-new big-screen adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. I remember being excited about and loving the 1977 Rankin/Bass television adaptation of The Hobbit, and while Bakshi’s LOTR has its flaws, I have a soft spot for it – especially the visuals, which immediately turn me into an eight-year-old again, heading out to see it with my mom’s younger brother late one night. (The movie came out in November, 1978, so it’s possible he was visiting us for Thanksgiving.) In Collect All 21!, I wrote:
Uncle Rob was the youngest “grown-up” that I knew, which made him, you know, cool.
For example, he had bought me a boxed set of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books when I was in first grade. (I got through “The Hobbit” pretty easily, but I’ll admit it was probably fourth or fifth or maybe even sixth grade before I got through the Ring saga itself. As a little kid, those chapters about “Many Meetings” and “The Council of Elrond” seem like they go on and onnnn.) I remember Uncle Rob being stoked about the then-new Lord of the Rings cartoon movie, and taking me to see it at the theater down by the Gold Circle store. He was going to buy me one of the Gollum posters they had for sale in the lobby, but we wound up seeing the last show of the day, and when we came out of the theater, the concession stand was closed.
I don’t remember watching this movie again until the mid-2000s, after the Peter Jackson film trilogy had made its mark. (And for what it’s worth, I was surprised at the similarities between Bakshi’s and Jackson’s interpretations, from a few visual echoes to story changes.)
The Starlog interview with Bakshi is pretty neat – digresson: the author is Ed Naha, whose name struck me as familiar, and sure enough, his book The Making of Dune has been on my shelves since the mid-1980s – and it’s laid out with a pair of gorgeous double-page art spreads. My scanner only handles a page at a time, though, so I had to break them up to post them here:
In addition to this Starlog – which has clearly already delivered its money’s worth, even before you get to its articles on Maren Jensen (Athena from the original Battlestar Galactica), Roger Corman, Buck Rogers (’80s style, of course) and Martian volcanoes – I made one other purchase at the same comic show, but it’s going to get its own post. Hint’s right there in the title.