Lettering: Sal Cipriano
I don’t normally enter a lot of contests. There are some people who will sign up for any chance to take home the trophy, whether it’s the neighborhood raffle or the supermarket grocery giveaway or whatever. Not me, and for a very simple reason.
I never win.
My wife usually has better luck – she won a hundred dollar gift certificate from a bath and body place recently – but just last week my luck changed! I won! Yay, me!
Appropriately enough, the contest was over on the Dark Horse website. The challenge: Leave a comment describing the first time you saw “Star Wars” and the best three will receive a Star Wars prize package. Of course, this was irresistible! I grabbed my Yoda action figure for inspiration and sent this comment, warts and all (the “thrilling” followed by a “thrilled” still bugs me, but oh, well):
“I was seven years old when “Star Wars – Episode IV” was released, and I remember sitting in the theater with my family when the lights went down and those thrilling first notes of the theme began. From the start, I was thrilled and pulled deep, deep into the movie. From that moment on, I was a fan, and watching it the first time was immediately followed by the second – we kept out seats (you could still do that, then) and watched it again. I was so excited I couldn’t stop smiling, or talking about it. I guess I still can’t.
The rest of that summer was defined by the number of days until I could see the movie again. My dad, who himself had fond memories of watching serials and pulp sci-fi at the theater, indulged me. He took me to see “Star Wars” over and over, and never seemed to lose his own enthusiasm. By the time school started up three months later, I had seen the movie 13 or 14 times.
When “Phantom Menace” came out years later, I wasn’t sure I would make it to opening day. My dad, suddenly and unexpectedly, had died two days before. It didn’t feel right, and I told my mom so. She clicked her tongue and told me, “Well, your dad wouldn’t want you to miss it – he’d want you to go. Don’t you think?” And she was right. It wasn’t the same as seeing “Star Wars” in ’77, but in way it’s as much a memory of my dad as it had been then.
And I still get a thrill when that theme music begins.”
When Dark Horse sent an e-mail a couple of days later letting me know the comment was one of the three chosen, I was pretty excited (you can read the other winning comments at the Dark Horse page). And I don’t even know what’s in the prize package! Is it the comic book adaptations at the bottom of the page? Or could it … could it be …?
OK, I think I’m getting carried away. Plus, I don’t want to jinx it. I’m just going to go sit by the window now and wait for the mailman to get here.
I would be the first to tell you I don’t have a lot of personal experience with the work of Dwayne McDuffie.
Around the time he was helping launch the groundbreaking and bar-raising Milestone Media, I was going through one of those periods in life when – for one reason or another – you aren’t buying comics. I was aware of what was going on with Milestone – a creator-owned, multicultural and wholly creative imprint published through DC – but only on the edges. It’s a comic book reading experience I still regret missing.
Most of what I know about McDuffie is thanks to his outspoken advocacy for multiculturalism and honest storytelling. He famously butted heads with the powers that be in the comics industry, and wasn’t shy about speaking his mind at cons and in interviews. Overall, and unrelentingly, McDuffie spoke out for fairness. That’s all. And as a comic book reader who is also a person of color, I’ll always hold him in high regard for that.
Even though I wasn’t as familiar with his work as I could have been – with Milestone, and later DC, Marvel and animated shows and movies – it was still a sad shock to hear McDuffie died Monday (Feb. 21, 2011) at the age of 49 due to complications from emergency heart surgery.
McDuffie no doubt had many more stories to tell; his death is a loss to fans and potential fans alike.
Panel from Marvel Boy, Vol. 1
Lettering: Richard Starkings and Wes Abbott
I have a question, something that has actually bothered me for years now: Did anyone, anywhere, ever own these action figures? And who comes off looking worse, Deimos or Machiste?*
Back in my youth I used to be a semi-fan of Travis Morgan and his center-of-the-Earth adventures as the Warlord of Skartaris, but even I never thought it was something that could support a toy line. As best as I can figure, the Warlord toys were a half-hearted bid by DC and Remco to cash in on that sweet Masters of the Universe moolah. (Though that might’ve been half-hearted since it was coming a couple of years later into the path of the MOTU juggernaut.)
I even kinda wonder if these were remaindered MOTU figures – doesn’t that constipated muscle-man design look familiar? All in all, these toys look pretty mock-worthy and I doubt I would’ve wanted them at the time.
Of course, now I want them bad.
*Trick question – it’s a tie.
Hey there, ho there, settle down there!
Things are running a little tight today, but I didn’t want to put the brakes on the momentum of four (count ‘em, FOUR) posts in a row, so here are some links that caught my eye and should catch your attention. Links are go!
And just like that, it’s a wrap for The Rack. After four years, writer Kevin Church and artist Benjamin Birdie have brought their webcomic to a close and I, for one, am sorry to see it go. The Rack has been something special; go read it from the beginning, and while you’re at it, why don’t you throw some money at the boys?
Speaking of webcomics, the monstrously talented Jeff Parker and artist Erika Moen have launched Bucko with a three page-intro, and if I were you I’d jump on that right now.
February is Black History Month, and I can’t think of anyone better to talk about black history and comics than David Brothers. Go read his thoughtful essay on his own experience as a comic book reader, which also serves as the introduction to a month-long series celebrating Black History Month.
Finally, a reason to go to Taco Bell.
And finally-finally, don’t forget today is the deadline to get your reviews in for this month’s Great Caesar’s Movie Club!