Oh, look, it’s my childhood…

§ December 27th, 2012 § Filed under star wars § 6 Comments

..as represented by the single greatest thing an eight-or-so-year-old Mike could have seen after having gone to the movies to see Star Wars for the fourth time:

“ALL NEW STORIES NOT SEEN IN THE MOVIE!” Three whole new comic books, in one package? For 99 cents? For new Star Wars adventures? Sweet jumpin’ Judas on a pogo stick, if I didn’t get my paws on those comics that very second, surely I would have dropped dead in that aisle right then and there.

And yes, I absolutely loved these comics…reading them and rereading them and just about committing them to memory. And I continued to follow the New Adventures of the Star Warsians, both in the three-packs and in regular monthly installments purchased from the newsstands* as opportunity allowed. I stuck with the series ’til about issue 25 or 26 or so, and I’m not entirely sure why I stopped buying them on a regular basis. I did return to the series off and on over the years, buying a few monthly issues in sequence or buying the occasional annual or special issue. It wasn’t until well after the series reached its 107th and final issue, and during those Star Wars doldrums when no new movies were coming out, and the whole thing seemed like it was good and finished, that I finally filled out my run of the series out of quarter boxes. Well, mostly filled, as I skipped the issues adapting the movies, as I owned those in treasury edition, paperback**, or Marvel Super Special*** form.

That eight-year-old I used to be, and is still rattling around in my head somewhere, is excited to hear about the return of Star Wars to Marvel Comics out of purely nostalgic reasons. The part of me that sells these things for a living is interested to see if this will pull the comic spin-offs out of their mostly moribund sales (though I suspect the impending Episode VII would have given the comics a kick in the pants, regardless of publisher…and the forthcoming Brian Wood series looks like it’ll be fun as well).

Anyway, one of those three-packs turned up in a collection at the shop recently, still sealed, reminding me of my absolutely sincere and overwhelming excitement all those years ago that such a thing even existed. It’s probably my enjoyment of those early comics that makes me brook no negativity about my favorite new-to-comics Star Wars character. Hey, maybe Marvel will bring him back!

* I remember spotting a new issue on the racks at a local bookstore/newsstand, and being so excited I grabbed it off the rack and dashed outside with it to ask my grandmother to buy it for me. …That I didn’t do a nickel up the river for shoplifting is something of a miracle…or that the bookseller didn’t mistake my youthful exuberance for criminal intent, at least. I did quickly return with my grandmother, who bought the comic. I suspect there was a comment or two about not leaving a store with unpaid-for merchandise even for a moment or by accident, but man, I was too busy reading my Star Wars comic to care.

** A childhood friend of mine made lots of fun about the fact that Yoda’s appearance in this specific edition of the comic was way off from his appearance in the movie. If only I’d known enough to be able to explain “lead times” and “artist only having access to production art, and not the final product,” I could have put that kid in his place.

*** This adaptation was released to newsstands about a week or two before the actual release of the film, much to Lucas’ chagrin. Of course I bought it right away and happily spoiled everything for myself…which didn’t curb my enjoyment of the movie one bit.

6 Responses to “Oh, look, it’s my childhood…”

  • Snark Shark says:


    those were GOOD issues!!

  • ExistentialMan says:

    I could probably research this myself but…I always wondered about Marvel’s (and other publishers) distribution deal with Whitman. I believe these comics were of the “pre-Diamond” era. Did the publishers warehouse their own titles (I can’t imagine they did) or were there other distributors who took on this cost? Regardless, I always assumed these bagged book deals were the result of extra, unsold titles lying around in inventory and publishers offered Whitman a discount to package and sell this way.

    Oh, wait. Sorry to take the fun out your recent find. I actually have several 25-cent Marvel comics (non-Star Wars) still bagged from a few years earlier and I love ’em!

  • Michael Grabowski says:

    the truly embarrassing memory is explaining to non-comics-reading friends who saw the mivie endlessly that the new characters were also part of the canon when it came time to play-act. “I want to be Jaxon! Jax for short, which I ain’t.” “Who’s Jackson?”

  • David Z. says:

    I still remember my aunt bringing me a copy of the ROTJ comic a few days before the movie opened. I was torn between wanting to know what happened and wanting to wait for the movie… and then I made the mistake of turning on the TV during the local evening news, which was doing a story about the early release of the comic and how people were shocked that Leia was Luke’s sister.

    I felt like a sap for fighting so hard to resist the comic, only to have some jerk ruin everything for me. Yet another reason I’m glad I was a kid pre-internet.

  • Mike Nielsen says:

    Star Wars comics are very likely the reason I’m still reading comics today. Read that series from issue #1 to the very end, had a subscription for most of that.

    Star Wars and Micronauts sealed in my brain the whole “gotta get the next issue to find out what happens next” mindset.

  • philip says:

    I still get a little flutter in my chest when I see stuff like this. I hope it is only age related in a nostalgic sense and not in a cardiovascular way. Everything about these was just slightly off-model which, to me now, is a big part of their charm.