Wednesday May 5, 1999
By Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday May 5, 1999
Common Sense Prequel
OK, you’ve found all 21 action figures, including the four scarce Battle Droid variations: clean, dirty, slashed and blasted.You’ve purchased all the posters, including the Jedi vs Sith battle scene and the circus-style pitch for pod races.
Welcoming plot “spoilers, ” you’ve amassed a complete set of the trading cards and begun reading the novel.
But do you have the comic books for “Star Wars: Episode One — The Phantom Menace?”
The fact is, George Lucas’ space saga owes much to comics, which fanned the flames of fan interest through most of the lean years between 1983’s Return of the Jedi and the wave of enthusiasm sparked by new “Star Wars” toys in 1995 and the first trilogy’s “Special Edition” in 1997.
From the lulls through the current storm, comics by Marvel and Dark Horse have adapted the films and expanded on Lucas’ universe. Now they’re attacking the prequel years with a comics adaptation of “The Phantom Menace.”
It’s sold as a single graphic novel costing $12.95 and also as a four-part series of comics, costing $2.95 each.
The graphic novel and the first issue of the comics are now in comic book shops. The final three comics will arrive weekly for three more weeks.
The comics have two cover options: a photo from the film, and an illustrated montage of characters by Hugh Fleming.
They were written by Henry Gilroy, who works in the comics/animation industry. He got a copy of Lucas’ script a year ago.
Translating the film to the static medium of comics is difficult, Gilroy said. “Lucas makes the most of motion and sound in his films.”
He tried to pace the story “so that every time the reader turns the page, they get a cool ‘reveal, ‘ which is what you get in a “Star Wars” movie. Every scene has something new in it.” (Source: Houston Chronicle)