STAR WARS: THE COMICS AWAKEN
For last week’s “May the Fourth” “holiday,” comiXology held a sale on some of Marvels’ recent “Star Wars” catalog. For $5 a book, it was too good a deal to pass up the first “Star Wars” and “Princess Leia” collections.
I was surprised at how much I liked them. I’m not a “Star Wars” fanatic; I enjoy the movies and have liked some of the comics sporadically, but I never felt the need to push on any further.
Plus, licensed comics like these are often hamstrung by licensor restrictions. Even then, the creators want to take advantage of this being a comic and go overboard with massive sets, special effects, crowd shots, or talking rabbits — just because you can. Yes, it’s great that comics can do things at no additional cost, but in this age of CGI everything, that’s getting less and less true. Worse, there’s a certain feel the original property has that gets completely lost when you try to “comic bookify” it just because you can.
Thankfully, while the two books I read do have a considerable amount of spectacle in places, they both maintain the feel of the original property very well. Whether it’s through actions or dialogue or the appearance of familiar characters and places, they’re going excellent jobs in keeping the look and feel.
I’ll get to the “Star Wars” title next week. This week, I want to focus on the Princess Leia miniseries.
Two Erik Larsen-related links start things off this week:
- Larsen has been keeping a series of comics drawing tips on his Facebook page. “Comics 101” is a series of suggestions and guidelines that go beyond the typical “How To Draw a Comic” material and into much more precise things that are just as nagging.
- Larsen also appeared on the latest episode of the Savage Fincast for nearly an hour and a half, talking all things “Savage Dragon” and “Spawn.” You only thought you knew how weird the working relationship between he and Todd McFarlane was. Listen to this, and be amazed that the book ever gets done or make sense in the first place.
You’ll also marvel at the sheer insanity that is “Savage Dragon,” as the hosts recap the last year of the series and all of its crazy twists and turns. I didn’t realize just how crazy it had been. Now, I want to go back and re-read the last dozen issues or so to relive it for myself.
- The next Christie’s auction of European comics art is getting closer, and now the final catalog is available for perusal. Download the PDF (click the “E-catalogue” button) or spend the $50 on the printed book. I just got my copy in the mail and will be writing about it next week. Be prepared for an amazing Schuiten page, more Herge and Franquin, and the usual cast of artistic geniuses. But, sadly, no Peyo this time around. Really, if you owned a “Smurfs” page, would you want to part with it?
- It’s #MerMay! Former Disney Features animator and occasional comic book maker, Tom Bancroft, has issued the challenge to draw a mermaid or merman every day of May, a la Inktober or March of Robots. I’m doing my best to keep up with it, though I’m about a day behind right now. Check out my Instagram feed for the Gen13 and “Captain America: Civil War”-themed mermaids and mermen that I’ve been focusing on. Then check out Bancroft’s mermaids for how it ought to be done. They’re beautiful.
- No, I haven’t seen “Captain America: Civil War” yet. I’m hoping that’ll happen before the next column. Fingers crossed.
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