You didn't really think you'd get through the day without some tantalizing new Star Wars news breaking, did you?
IDW Publishing just announced the deluxe compilation of the Classic Star Wars newspaper comic strips that ran in The Los Angeles Times' empire of daily and Sunday papers from 1979-1984.
Known for their bold art by the Eisner Award-winning Russ Manning and rousing space opera adventures set within the framework of the original Star Wars trilogy, the colorful strips were standalone stories that ventured out into the cosmos to discover new planets, alien races and creatures. After Manning retired due to illness, other artists and writers stepped in to fill his space boots, including Russ Helm, Archie Goodwin, Al Williamson and the legendary Alfredo Alcala.
Now these nostalgic Star Wars strips have been restored and resurrected in their original, un-edited form in this killer anniversary collection titled, Star Wars: The Classic Newspaper Comics, Volume 1. It's a premium, 260-page, 11” x 8.5” landscape hardcover coming in May for $49.99 that will have any red-blooded Star Wars fan who remembers these daily gems drooling in anticipation. This first of three volumes covers its first '79-'80 season.
Here's the official press release:
In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the first Star Wars film this May, IDW Publishing and the multi award-winning imprint, Library of American Comics present Volume One of Star Wars: The Classic Newspaper Comic which contains 575 sequential strips from its premiere run March 11, 1979 to October 5, 1980. Included are every Sunday’s title header and “bonus” panels in meticulously restored original color, making this the first-ever complete collection of this comics classic as they originally appeared. During the five years Star Wars Comics first appeared, early fans were treated to a total of twenty-seven storylines that remain some of the best “Classic Star Wars” era tales ever told.
In this first of three volumes, a stunning image of Darth Vader graces the cover and the most beloved original Star Wars characters journey through space along with new characters in new worlds never seen in the feature films. These daily adventure comic strips brought all the action of the movie directly into people’s homes for the first time.
Greg Goldstein, IDW Publishing’s President and COO, says, “Some of these strips have been reprinted in other formats, but, like many of our other LOAC collections, this is the first fully complete, chronological collection of the strips as they originally appeared when they graced the morning papers nearly 40 years ago.”
Initially the color Sundays and B&W dailies told separate stories, but within six months the incomparable Russ Manning merged the adventures to tell brand new epic seven-days-a-week sagas that rivaled the best science fiction comics of all time. When the strip launched, Russ Manning accurately predicted that “People today can’t get enough science fiction, especially if it is original and full of creative adventure. The Star Wars characters are like Mickey Mouse. They will be loved forever.” These strips reflect a simpler time in the franchise’s history and are a “must-have” for both the hardcore and casual Star Wars fan.
The books are produced under license, and in cooperation with Marvel Comics and Lucasfilm.