Star Wars - As re-imaged by the Chinese circa 1980

Graham1973

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I've posted one image from this unauthorised comic book version of Star Wars published in China in the early 1980s (Bobba Fett & co make various cameos, so it has to have been published after Empire Strikes Back came out.) in the 'Fictional Aircraft from Movies, Games, etc.' thread, but what's an image without context....

The comic it came from was purchased from a second hand book stall in China in 2011, the blog post linked below gives the full story:

A Long Time Ago in a China Far Far Away........

The artwork is similar in style to that appearing in Analog magazines during the 1960s & 70s, and draws upon an interesting range of western pop culture, it's also somewhat inconsistent from scene to scene (Just pay attention to Chewbacca....). The link below goes to an English translation of the text.

Chinese Star Wars Comic (Part 1 of 6)
 

Stargazer2006

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Splendid!! Such serendipities are what I like best about the internet...

Star Wars meets Star Blazers meets Flash Gordon!! A Douglas DC-10 and a Lockheed Constellation have a baby! You got a winner in your hands, folks!!

But seriously, considering the guys probably had access to a handful of official photos from illegally circulated magazines, the guys had a lot of imagination and talent to completely recreate a storyline like that!
 

Stargazer2006

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Here, the "DC-10/Constellation" combo, from panel #20...
 

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Avimimus

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I have a feeling that some of the images were copied from other source material...


Darth Vader has breasts, a really fancy light-sabre hilt, and rides a triceratops in one of the frames... but somehow I feel like I've seen that image before somewhere... ??
 

Stargazer2006

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Avimimus said:
I have a feeling that some of the images were copied from other source material...

Several images vaguely rang a bell. I have a feeling the artist just held on to every single picture he could find from Western movie posters, Japanese manga, TV screenshots or else, and sort of mixed them up to create a fantasy of his own... Not badly drawn on the whole... it even has an American-like quality at times, reminding me of the artwork of a comic-book artist named Walt Simonson (who did a bit of the Star Wars comics at Marvel, incidentally).
 

Graham1973

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Avimimus said:
I have a feeling that some of the images were copied from other source material...


Darth Vader has breasts, a really fancy light-sabre hilt, and rides a triceratops in one of the frames... but somehow I feel like I've seen that image before somewhere... ??

Illustration 53 was traced back to a Frank Frazetta illustration, not sure where the triceratops comes from though:

http://frankfrazetta.net/John_Carter_3.html
 

Stargazer2006

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Darn!!! I made a horrible mistake and no-one said so!
The airliner above was a Douglas DC-10 of course, not a Lockheed TriStar. I know them well, I really don't know what came over me when I wrote this!
 

starviking

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Let's see:

Frame 2: Space Battleship Yamoto.
Frames 3+4: Venera probe?
Frame 14: Gemini away!
Frame 17: Chris Foss illo.
Frame 66: Who said it wasn't worth modifying the X-15!
Frame 71: More Foss.
Frame 75: Kennedy Space Center has a new lease of life.
Frame 91: Starfleet Command Transport Hub from ST:TMP.
Frame 117: Titan and R-7?
Frame 128: The Yamato joins the fight...
Frame 131: More Foss.

I have to say, the Jedi Knight battle-bike in Part 2 is wonderfully hilarious! Also, given the morphing of styles it must be the work of a few people.
 

Graham1973

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Frame 118: Some interesting casting choices....
 

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The Artist

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That's mining the morgue. Most artists collect scraps and keep scrap files for reference and in the commercial art field (before computers) scrap file collections were called the morgue. Use of scrap art as a starting point is still quite common, but most artists work to take the image well beyond the starting point to make something that is their own - to avoid problems with copyright lawyers.

I guess this work is an example of a commercial art culture that has little fear of copyright lawyers.
 

Stargazer2006

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The Artist said:
That's mining the morgue. Most artists collect scraps and keep scrap files for reference and in the commercial art field (before computers) scrap file collections were called the morgue.

Very interesting, thanks for sharing this precious bit of trivia. :)
 

starviking

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The Artist said:
That's mining the morgue. Most artists collect scraps and keep scrap files for reference

Ah! That explains why Chewbacca morphs into Cheetah the chimpanzee from Tarzan.

I guess my prior idea of multiple artists is out the window now.
 

The Artist

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starviking said:
The Artist said:
That's mining the morgue. Most artists collect scraps and keep scrap files for reference

Ah! That explains why Chewbacca morphs into Cheetah the chimpanzee from Tarzan.

I guess my prior idea of multiple artists is out the window now.

Your guess may still be right. There are enough differences in the line work in the two images posted within this thread to make me think they were inked by two different artists. Also. if you look at the credits in comic books on the market you'll usually see credits for pencils (or layouts) and Inking and those tasks are usually done by different artists. This project looks to have been a team effort and it is possible that only a fraction of the artists had any idea what the original source material looked like. Some of the pencil (layout) artists may have been consulting their scrap files while working from only the story (script) for the comic. I'm making this guess based on my experience with the first movie. I picked up and read the novelization of the first movie quite some time before the movie opened in the theaters and I remember having no clue on how to imagine the X and Y Wing Fighters.
 

Graham1973

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The Artist said:
That's mining the morgue. Most artists collect scraps and keep scrap files for reference and in the commercial art field (before computers) scrap file collections were called the morgue.

Yeah, I've been trying to identify the 'J & B Scotch' adverts that provided the basis for frames 51 & 52 using Google Images, but I don't think the specific ads have been scanned.
 

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Stargazer2006

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Graham1973 said:
Yeah, I've been trying to identify the 'J & B Scotch' adverts that provided the basis for frames 51 & 52 using Google Images, but I don't think the specific ads have been scanned.

Scotch?? Nah. "J & B" surely stands for "Jabba and Bobba", who in this alternate reality own a cantina kind of bar...
 

chimeric oncogene

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Nice to see people still looking at this. I've double checked the OP and both links still work.

Frame 5: What the...?
I'm pretty sure that's supposed to be Princess Leia engaged in carrying out subterfuge.

The caption is describing how Leia, realizing that Lord Vader has her trapped, gives the Death Star Plans to Artoo and Threepio.
 

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