|Yoda's enduring appeal is perfectly captured by Joseph Smith - gracing the cover of STAR WARS GALAXY: THE ORIGINAL TOPPS TRADING CARD SERIES book, out now from ABRAMS.|
Steve Ditko, George Perez, Gil Kane, Jack Kirby, Moebius, Gene Colan, Dave Gibbons, Walt Simonson- a powerhouse of international game-changing artist names whose creativity and incredible talent have shone throughout the pages of comic and graphic novel history across fifty years. Unparalleled icons whom, if assembled in any one arena linked to their industry, would surely be sensational enough, but when such pioneers come together to celebrate, discover and enjoy the rich and diverse heritage and universe established by George Lucas's original STAR WARS Trilogy, then that's something even more alluring and fascinating - as witnessed within the incredible collection comprising STAR WARS GALAXY- the superb early to mid-nineties card series from the industry giant TOPPS. Singular contributions that would become so popular and strikingly showcased, and as a unified collection importantly helping the franchise back into a re-energised state with the eventual return to the big screen, and beyond, from 1997 onwards.
|WATCHMAN legend Dave Gibbon's take on the Tatooine droid capture.|
|Romantic and exciting art for the chasm swing by Zina Saunders.|
|An intriguing vision of a helmet removed Boba Fett, from Dan Brereton.|
Gary Gerani, one of the key masterminds behind the prior success of the beloved STAR WARS photo bubblegum cards series for TOPPS back in the seventies and eighties, returns with those other artistic pioneers of ABRAMS BOOKS/ABRAMS COMIC ART to take us behind the scenes of a changing industry that would see the company launching itself with vigour into the nineties- cards this time round specially designed to appeal beyond the school playgrounds, drug store and newsagents purchasers, and more to the demands of super fans and collectors, providing images lavishly printed within striking thematic devices to make them even more desirable and unique, alongside information and profiles a little bit more detailed than the early days. Cards brought to life with individual style and colourful beauty, as each artist (many of whom would offer their talents without request for this rewarding enterprise), including many then rising stars, happily revealed their own precious take on a classic scene, character or event from EPISODEs IV to VI, or boldly explored their own alternate fresh moments and perspectives, to surprise and delight fans- many examples of which have since gone into illustrative history and pop culture beyond their original task of expanding the realms of STAR WARS. There are also fine returns to the illustrated dominion of Jedi, Sith and Empire from key figures who had helped launch and cement the saga into the comics medium from 1976 to 1980: Howard Chaykin, the responsible and striking illustrator giving us an epic taster of the original film's artistic and genre potential before it even went into cinemas to dazzle the world, and the man who made the adaption of the subsequent MARVEL COMICS sequel of The Empire Strikes Back such a respected classic: Al Williamson. The book comes to a close with a fine Afterword from another magician of the pen and brush stroke - a true giant who has contributed delicious and atmospheric poster art for every film in the saga so far: Drew Struzan, illuminating us with subtly strong and stirring words on the pieces showcased here. Words which will certainly linger in the mind after reading.
|Princess Leia takes Wicket the Ewok for a fun speeder bike ride, courtesy of June Brigman.|
|The lethal Lumiya wields her energy weapon, in this great image from Colleen Doran.|
|The book also shows us the various promotional materials for the three card sets, and reveals intriguing behind the scenes info.|
AFICIONADO RATING: Another book (with bonus cards!) to treasure, capturing a unique era of STAR WARS history through the eyes, minds and artisanship of 170 artists - one whose fascinating and evocative pieces would truly set the gold standard for a decade or more to come. 4 out of 5.
Get the book here: Star Wars Galaxy (Topps): Amazon.co.uk: Gary Gerani: 9781419719134: Books
AFICIONADO previews: STAR WARS AFICIONADO WEBSITE: STAR WARS GALAXY THE ORIGINAL TOPPS TRADING CARD SERIES BOOK