Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

Via Plaid Stallions: Multipack Time Travel

I would like to thank Plaid Stallions for posting this –

– because without a doubt, I had that bagged Whitman three-pack of Marvel Star Wars comics, and although I had forgotten what the bag looked like (Pointy W!), seeing this image brings back to mind the weight and texture of the plastic, as well as memories of the stories within.

From Collect All 21!  – 

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 I 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.

Back in 2010, I went to the Pittsburgh Comicon and actually got to meet Roy Thomas, the original writer and editor of Marvel’s Star Wars comics – and creator of that green rabbit, Jaxxon. (We not only talked about that character, but what it was like being among the first writers to expand upon the original Lucas stories. Roy was incredibly nice and interesting to talk to.)

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February 25, 2013 Posted by | 1970s, geek, Ohio, science fiction | , , , | Leave a comment

Empire Strikes (Flash)backs

As part of my presentation on Saturday, I scanned some images from the Marvel Comics adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back to go with a passage from Collect All 21!, and it seems fitting enough to share them this week, along with the few relevant notes from the book:

I did come away from that first viewing, though, with the two-dollar “Marvel Super Special Magazine” comics adaptation of the movie, since there was a special counter full of Empire merchandise set up there in the theater lobby.

I read it until its cover came off and then some. I tracked down a copy within the last few years and was surprised at how the full-color pictures

took me back and reminded me of all the differences between the comic and the movie. Luke’s post-Wampa plaster face mask; the ice creatures attacking inside the Hoth base; the Jedi training on Dagobah where Luke tries to slice up a metal bar; the silhouette of Vader’s bare head that actually makes it seem like he’s got curly hair. (I’d also forgotten about the full-page black-and-white ad in the middle of the book: a scantily-clad space-warrior-princess flanked by a couple snarling Yeti-gorilla things advertising a new Marvel Masterpiece – Bizarre Adventures 2! Seeing it sparked the memory of wondering what this had to do with Star Wars.)


May 16, 2010 Posted by | 1980s, eighties, Film, geek, Ohio, writing | , , , , | Leave a comment

Star Wars: Marveling

Vader levitating himself a coffee = priceless.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.

April 23, 2010 Posted by | 1980s, Books, eighties, Fiction, Film, geek, science fiction, writing | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pittsburgh Comicon: Enough Star Wars to fill a space cruiser

Pittsburgh Comicon 2010

I’ll be nerding out ’77-’83 style for good portions of today and tomorrow, getting my Collect All 21 reading/presentation/Time Travel Belt ready for the Pittsburgh Comicon this weekend.

Star Wars looks to be well-represented at the show, with a dozen saga-related guests and artists. The biggie on the comics side is, of course, original Marvel Star Wars writer Roy Thomas – yes, he’s way more than that in the comic world, what with being Stan Lee’s successor as editor-in-chief and all, but for me he’ll always be the guy behind the only comic books I owned as a kid.

Two Star Wars actors –  Dermot Crowley (General Madine from Return of the Jedi) and Nalini Krishan (Jedi Knight Barriss Offee from the prequels) – are supposed to be there, too.

Artist-wise, you’re looking at a long list of varied names and their visions of the saga:

David Michael BeckStar Wars: Republic and Star Wars: Empire comics

DaxiongStar Wars Adventures: Luke Skywalker and the Treasure of the Dragonsnakes

Sean Forney – Very nice guy who I run into a couple times a year; designed these T-shirts for 2009 Star Wars Weekends.

Ron Frenz – Another respected Marvel veteran with a ton of cool credits, he worked on Star Wars later in its Marvel run.

John Haun, Brian Kong, Mike Lilly, Monte Moore and Tod Allen Smith have all done impressive pieces for lines like Topps Star Wars Galaxy, Heritage, Clone Wars and Empire Strikes Back as well as sketch cards and prints – and yes, they’re all scheduled to be in Pittsburgh this weekend, too.

So, yes, that’s a lot of Star Wars to run around and take in over the three-day stretch (to say nothing of all the rest of the stuff going on), so may I suggest that on Saturday afternoon, if you’re at the show, why not give your feet a break and join me at 1 p.m. for a trip down vintage Star Wars memory lane and into the prequel era and fandom from a Dad perspective. Naturally, I’d also suggest that you should also stick around for the 2 p.m. book publishing panel Deus Ex Comica author Adam Besenyodi and I are sharing with Paul Anderson. Thanks to the Science Fiction Alliance of Pittsburgh for the invite!

Come on out and say hello!

April 22, 2010 Posted by | 1980s, Books, eighties, Film, geek, science fiction, Travel, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Road trips, readings, cons and prose

My calendar checked itself out this morning and honestly seemed a little surprised: “You know,” it said, “I don’t look half-bad the next eight weekends.”

“Don’t sell yourself short,” I said. “Four of those weekends look fantastic.” I did my best Peter Venkman (which isn’t very good) and added, “I love this plan! I’m excited to be a part of it! Let’s do it!”

First, there’s this coming weekend, which begins for me on Thursday with a road trip to kick off PAX East, and while there’s no direct Collect All 21! tie-in, the topic of growing up on Star Wars and sharing it with the next generation seems awfully likely to come up on the GeekDad panel (Friday night – 7 p.m.!) which I’m lucky enough to be a part of. To say nothing of the rest of the weekend. Can you tell I’m a wee bit thrilled about all this?

Then I’ve got three weekends off to get ready for April 23-25 and the Pittsburgh Comicon, where I’m doing two panels thanks to the members of the Science Fiction Alliance of Pittsburgh: First up is a Collect All 21! presentation/reading, Super Deluxe Special But-Han-Still-Shoots-First Extended Edition, and that’s followed by a publishing panel which also includes my friend and Deus Ex Comica author Adam Besenyodi, and writer Paul Anderson, too.

Bonus Points: Adam went to last fall’s Pittsburgh con and met Stan Lee, so for me, the incredible thing about this edition of the con is that Roy Thomas is going to be there – and while I didn’t grow up a comic-book addict, I most certainly did read and re-read and re-re-read the early-run Marvel Star Wars comics. (And I don’t care what anybody says, Roy, JAXXON RULES!)

The weekend after that includes Saturday, May 1, which is Free Comic Book Day, and I should be spending the day alongside Stormtroopers and the Batmobile and a bunch of other pop-culture coolness at The Toys Time Forgot in Canal Fulton, Ohio.

Finally, on May 15 I’ll be at the Fairlawn-Bath branch of the Akron-Summit County Public Library to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back with a 1 p.m. presentation, Memories of an Empire: Reminiscing and Readings from Collect All 21!

So, to sum up: Eight weeks. Four weekends of gaming, comics, toys and Star Wars. I like those numbers.

March 23, 2010 Posted by | 1980s, Books, Current Affairs, eighties, Film, Games, geek, Ohio, science fiction, Travel, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Time Travel: Pizzazz Magazine, April 1978

I have a potentially packed-with-awesome day ahead, though it will be hard-pressed to be as fully-loaded as this April 1978 issue of Pizzazz magazine.

I bet aliens were responsible for that errant apostrophe.

Star Wars comics with zombie kids! Thor the Thunder God’s Checkerboard Code! And remember the Comp IV – my uncle had one of these – and PDQ milk flavorings?

Here – I scanned some of the best parts. Try not to be too heartbroken that the sweepstakes deadline has long since passed, so that 19-inch Sony Trinitron Color TV and Atari Video Computer System combo Grand Prize is already in some lucky kid’s avocado-and-maize living room.

November 5, 2009 Posted by | Film, Games, geek, science fiction | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Deus ex Comica: The Rebirth of a Comic Book Fan

I’ve been meaning to blog this all week, so hopefully I’m making up for my lateness (“I don’t feel tardy”) by putting it here now on Friday, where it will likely take up the top spot for a couple days while I’m traveling.

Deus ex Comica

Adam’s book is finally here.

I picked up my copy earlier this week, and seeing this thing in print after spending most of the last year watching it come to life (and even helping a little bit) is nothing short of fan-freaking-tastic.

I was never as into comic books as Adam was, but reading this collection of flashbacks and insights and pure love for the medium is just plain fun, and yes, this is a completely biased recommendation, but whether you – “or someone you love,” as they say on TV – are an avid comic fan or haven’t picked up an issue in decades even though you scarfed them up as a kid, you should read this book. I mean, Tom DeFalco wrote the foreword, for the love o’Pete.

I also owe Adam for this project providing me some inspiration regarding “Collect All 21,” but that’s for another post.

Now, go read “Deus ex Comica’s” intro and the first chapter at Lulu.com – it’ll be on Amazon soon, but seriously, why wait?

April 3, 2009 Posted by | 1980s, Books, Current Affairs, eighties, Fiction, geek, Ohio, Web/Tech, Weblogs, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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