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SJ Reads: The Unwritten

Published August 21, 2017 by admin

Today’s SJ reads is another graphic novel/comic series, since that’s our theme this month. I’d heard the title The Unwritten kicked around for a while, but not really taken the chance to investigate it. Then, when I had worked my way through a two-month long manga binge and was craving something else, I checked out the first couple of volumes from the library.

Holy. Guac.

I mean, it’s Mike Carey, so it’s not going to be bad, but seriously, guys, this series is amazing. Picture Harry Potter mixed with Christopher Robin mixed with every genre ever (including children’s lit), mixed with conspiracy theory, mixed with Jung, and you might come close to describing The Unwritten. Maybe.

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So we open with Tom Taylor doing conventions, because his dad is a famous author noted for writing a series that would be similar to Harry Potter in our world, and the main character coincidentally is named Tommy Taylor and looked like him as a boy. Things really get going when an audience member questions if he’s really who he thinks he is during a panel (welcome to every panelist’s worst nightmare). What follows is a long, winding story where Tom struggles to figure out if he’s real or fictional, how his world crosses with the literary or how that’s even possible, all while fighting a strange cabal of people known as the Unwritten, who have lived throughout history making sure that only the write message gets written. He also has to deal with what his father did to him and turned him into. Helped by the questioning lady in the audience who may or may not be sane (or real), and a reporter, and a few other people who may or may not have his interests at heart, this is a fast-paced, intricate romp through not just fantasy, but also a lot of really interesting literary paths. We fall into Moby Dick and other titles, go back and forth in history, go to Hades, go to a kid’s world that is reminiscent of Beatrix Potter or the Hundred Acre Wood – there’s even a crossover with Fables (admittedly, since I’m the one person who absolutely isn’t a fan of Fables and since that volume really didn’t affect the plot one way or the other, that’s the one weak part of the series for me).

Also, this series has balls. I will warn you, there is language, there is violence, stuff gets dark. If you’re going into this expecting Not!Harry Potter fanfic or happy fantasy time, this is not that. At all. The stakes are high. If you ever wondered what would happen if your YA fantasy friends grew up and had to play their adventures straight, this is definitely the series for you. I can’t say much or I’ll give it away, but the ending is also one of the best series endings I’ve ever read. As I went along, admittedly I began thinking that there was only one real possible exit if things were being played out to their logical conclusion…but no way a series author would go there, right?

Oh, he did. He goes there. And it is magnificent.

So yeah, if you want something different, if you feel like you’ve aged out of Harry Potter or want some dark fantasy that also explores some high concepts, check this one out.

You can find vol 1 here

 

SJ Reads: Lucifer

Published August 14, 2017 by admin

At this point I figure most of the people who are reading this are going to at least be aware of Sandman. If you aren’t, let me know, and I’ll cover it in a later post. I’ve found, though, that at least within my own friend/writing circle, not as many people are familiar with Lucifer.

 

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Okay, calm down. Here’s the thing. If you’re familiar with the show, this is not that. If the whole religion in fantasy gets you hepped up, that’s perfectly cool. You don’t have to read it, like it, or agree with me. If that’s the case, you may want to skip this one.

For those who really are into dark fantasy and want a longer title that will take a while to get through, especially if you’ve already done Sandman and loved it, you’ll want to check this out. Picking up where Lucifer is running a piano bar with his Lilim companion Mazikeem, continuing the theme of being bored with the role he’s been cast in.

Things to know:

He is still manipulative and scheming and there is a lot of magical politics and entrapment, so he’s not altogether a hero in this series, even though he’s a protagonist. He definitely does things his own way and plays things hard and fast, and has to deal with the complications of that, even when he wins.

He’s less of the booga booga destroy humanity figure and more along the lines of trying to prove his views to his brother angels and God. At one point, they have to band together to save reality, which is an interesting experience.

Basically, through various machinations, Lucifer creates a side universe parallel to ours which has a lot of consequences and effects. The series also explores what machinations other angels have gotten up to, along with the desires of a living deck of tarot cards and the daughter of Michael, so there’s a lot going on. This is less good vs evil and more free will vs predestination and a whole lot of various characters trying to find their place in the universe(s). There’s a lot of separate adventure arcs, mythological figures, and a lot of interlocking pieces. People that show up in the beginning that you think are gone reappear, and the ending truly had me turning pages at a mad pace.

If you like how detailed and rich Sandman is, you’ll love this. If you like various mythologies being played with and combined, you’ll love this. If you like super entwining plots and really vivid art and dream-like storylines, this is for you.

This has been published in several forms – you’ll find volumes and books on amazon. I prefer by book because you have a lot of content that interconnects, and it’s easier to flip back if you think you’ve missed something.

Find book one here

Have you read this series? Like it better or less than the TV show? Who’s your favorite character or what’s your favorite part? Let me know!

 

 

SJ Reads: Finder

Published August 7, 2017 by admin

So yeah, it’s been a bit and a half. I’ll get to that eventually, but really, I think at the end of the day it’s good to ask if we want to start with explanations or start the way we mean to go. Since my rambling good intentions usually end up taking time and fizzling at certain points, I’m leaning toward the latter this time around. So there ya go.

I want to get back to SJ reads because I think it’s a good way to showcase not just what I like, but titles that people may have forgotten about or titles that aren’t in their comfort zone. So, as a refresher:

  1. I usually only review mass market titles on my blog so there’s no conflict of interest, but like everything I reserve the right to change my mind
  2. This is less of a review and more of my fluid thoughts on a title
  3. 99 percent of the time everything I talk about here I’ve obtained from the public library, and if mine has it, yours likely does too. Use libraries, they’re awesome.

I want to try going by theme a little bit, so this month I’m going to touch on some graphic novel/comic series that are just amazing to me. Seriously, people, if you aren’t exploring this section of your library or bookstores, you’re missing out on some of the most original stories out there today.

So today let’s talk about Finder.

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Finder started out as a self-published comic by Carla Speed McNeil and eventually got picked up by Darkhorse and is still going on- that’s the basic schematic. Unlike a lot of titles I’ve read, I don’t know that you honestly have to go in order because she does tend to bop around in time and area within her world. Probably the easiest way to read this is to look for the Dark Horse Finder Library volumes first. I think this collects everything through Talisman, although that’s available in a separate book, as well. Then there’s Voice, and I believe Third World is the latest that’s out. I’ve read here and there in Darkhorse Presents, but honestly, I like volumes because I hate to be kept waiting on the next bits.

It’s extremely hard to put a genre on Finder. It’s honestly all the genres. There are dark bits, there’s drama, there’s some genuinely funny aspects, there’s some coming of age, there’s sci-fi and fantasy…I’ve heard that the author describes it as aboriginal scifi if pressed, and that’s pretty accurate.

Basically, Finder is set in a futuristic place similar to our own world without it being exactly us. A lot of the action takes place in bigger cities, where society has been divided into different castes with different rules and attributes. Outside of the cast system are the Ascians, of which is main character Jaeger. We follow him through the series at different points in his life and through different adventures (though sometimes this deviates and we follow side characters, instead) as he deals with being both the lowest in Ascian society (a sin eater, so he takes on people’s sins before they die) and one of the highest (a Finder, meaning he can find anything, anywhere).

So why bother with something weird and complicated and nontraditional? The characters are amazing. I love Jaeger in a bad way and just love how he’s written. He’s not completely good and not completely bad, he’s very much a dude (and I love that he’s written by a female author, truth be told, especially through arcs that discuss all his various lady friends), and he’s an amazing personality to use to explore different situations. All of the characters do this, but as the main audience porthole into the world, he really makes you put aside your thoughts on race and sex and gender and even species.  The setting and society McNeil has built are just astounding. This isn’t just a futuristic city – you have all sorts of lands and cities and towns and places in between with their own rules, not to mention caste rules and religious rites. I like to grumble that it’s completely unfair that this isn’t a movie or TV series yet, but honestly, it would probably get ruined. I don’t think anyone would really have the balls to throw it up on the screen as is, and to change it would be to wreck it.

This is an insanely simple breakdown. Luckily, if you start with the Finder library volumes, they read more like a continuous story. And if you ever are wondering anything, the author has a huge chunk o’ foot notes in the back of each book. Seriously. The amount of knowledge and research and effort that has gone into this series is just mind-boggling and has brought me to my knees more than once. You have a girl going through a beauty show to find her place in society and falling into whole other rituals, you have a girl falling in love with a book, you’ve got archaeological explorations led by creatures, cities that are levels upon levels and tech that puts you into whole other universes to help you leave yourself behind. This series has something to say about everything. It’s insane and amazing and I love it. This is a one of those ideas that makes me moderately jealous, but mostly in awe, because it’s so well done. I wish I drew well enough to pull something like this off. I wish my world building was that good. As it is, I’m more than happy to wait for the next bit and run around in McNeil’s world every chance I get.

Find Finder vol 1 here

I can’t be the only Finder fan out there – who else has read this phenomenal series? Thoughts? Favorite arcs or characters? Let me know in the comments!

Comic & Film Review Roundup 2

Published December 7, 2015 by admin

Time for another batch of the reviews other people want me to do for some reason! The story behind this is I had a geektastic talk with Sharon Stogner of I Smell Sheep Review Blog at Imaginarium, which led to me agreeing to do comic and movie reviews as I can.

Really I just wanted people to give me comics, but they don’t have to know that.

This Damned Band 1 – Think Almost Famous meets rock folklore meets Led Zeppelin meets Spinal Tap meets demons. A great set up.

This Damned Band 2 – A little more uneven than issue one, but still intriguing. This issue follows the band on their tour along with continued tensions and strange happenings.

This Damned Band 3– The band records in a French chateau and contemplates a missing groupie. The bassist’s money problems come front and center, along with some further haunted happenings.

This Damned Band 4 – The band faces off with masked intruders in the chateau. The magic mushrooms are back, plus there are uncomfortable discoveries in the band manager’s room. Some really creepy moments make the weird pacing and art changes worthwhile.

I also got asked to check out as many films in the Another Hole in the Head Festival, which had so many awesome horror entries that I really wish I could’ve just binged them all. Sadly, between being crunched for time and being sick, I only got to two, but they were two awesome films.

Nina Forever – I believe this actually comes out in theaters in February, but I loved this one. When a boyfriend still mourning his ex tries to move on with a new love interest, things take a weird turn when his dead former girlfriend shows up every time he and his new girlfriend try to be intimate. More of a horror/romance/relationship movie hybrid, I was really pleased that it took on the metaphors head on instead of trying to be really campy or in-your-face.

Sacred Blood – An ‘operatic’ film without the singing, this is a melodramatic look that spends time treating all the undead characters as people, which is nice. I’d have liked a little more explanations for some things, but the film just looks stunning and there are some nice stand-out performances, as well.

 

Comic Review Roundup

Published December 2, 2015 by admin

So along with people foolishly inviting my writer-type opinions on their sites, I’ve been invited to guest review for the awesome blog I Smell Sheep. And more than once, too!

Seriously, this is something that’s been a ton of fun so far. While it’s still my policy to not officially review small press or indie books (obviously I still give my general thoughts on library books in my SJ Reads posts), I’m all about reviewing comics and movies if someone’s going to enable me. While I do read a few superhero titles, I have a passion for the fact that graphic novels can really tell stories in a unique way – from realistic titles like Persepolis, The Property, Fun House, or something meant to mirror reality like Maus, to epic stories like Sandman or horror titles like Locke & Key. There are some truly unique titles out there that aren’t getting the love they deserve or people may not know unless they specifically follow a certain title or publisher, so I love the chance to discover new titles and share them with others.

Since these were done for the I Smell Sheep Blog, I’ll spare you full reviews and link you to the actual ones. I’ll have to divide this up because I’ve actually done more than I realized, but here’s the first batch.

Dark Horse Comics Presents # 15 – Admittedly one of the reasons I jumped on board was because I knew the blog had an in with Dark Horse and I had just discovered Finder and I love it with an unholy passion. So when this title came up and featured serialized Finder, I was ready to fight to the bitter end for it. Truly, though, every story in this issue was fantastic and has opened me up to some other titles I can’t wait to check out.

Dead Vengeance 1 -A carnival sideshow act comes to life and tries to figure out who he really is. A lot of flashbacking, but a really interesting set up that reminds me of the older Creepy and Eerie titles.

Dead Vengeance 2 – More information on John Dover’s tragic past, as well as a unique allusion to a possible time travel element, plus it takes us back to the carnival!

Plants Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 1 – Love this. So ridiculous in the best possible ways. Dr. Zomboss tries to take over town with some help from the future…and a metal butt. Brings to mind a lot of the Saturday morning cartoons I used to love watching.

Love Hurts: The Complete Love Hurts (Horrifying Tales of Romance) – Translated from a Swiss comic, I believe, this is amazing. I love this thing. A collection of short stories that blend horror and romance elements, these are twisted, warped, insightful, emotional, and just so inventive I can’t stand it. Loved.

 

 

 

 

 

Reading with SJ: YA comics & graphic novels

Published August 22, 2015 by admin

Back again with some more titles I have thoughts on! This time, I’ll be looking at the YA illustrated/graphic novel/comic genre, which admittedly has a place in my heart. These are the books I love to check out a stack at a time and curl up with when I need some light reading or some feels. What can I say, we all have our moments.

The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks – I LOVE this book. Part satire of the genre, part girl making it on her own, part just plain fun, this is an awesome read. Superhero Girl isn’t your average superhero: no arch nemesis, no fancy costume, no tragic backstory, just a girl with superpowers, a roommate, a popular older superhero brother Kevin, and a potential date who points out how un-superhero-y she is all the time. It cracked me up and made me smile so many times, and I found myself definitely feeling for her and identifying with her frustrations. Love.

Rocket Girl vol. 1  by Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder – I wasn’t sure what to expect with this title, but if this continues on as a series I will be thrilled. DaYoung is a member of the 2013 New York Teen City Police. In a world where adults aren’t trusted and teens inhabit the police force to balance power, DaYoung goes back in time to the 1980s to prevent a futuristic ruling corporation from becoming a horrific monopoly. She meets the creators of the very technology she uses on a daily basis and has to convince them that the future is going to be a daunting place, indeed, if they continue on their current course. In the present/future, the commissioner and a fellow officer struggle to buy her time and we find out that there’s more to her journey than meets the eye. DaYoung is a fabulous character – just the right age for YA readers, she’s confident, plucky, a competent fighter, and more mature than a lot of the adults around her. She’s filled with her goal and her cause. It was also refreshing to read a female-focused comic that wasn’t filled with sexualization of it’s lead character. Indeed, there are a few awesome ladies in this title, and the teenage characters in general are just fantastic. The world is well-developed, the action fast-paced, and I love it.

My Boyfriend is a Monster: He loves Me He Loves Me Not by Robin Mayhall and Kristen Cella – No, I haven’t read the rest of the series. Shut up. I actually enjoyed this more than I thought I would. New girl Serena struggles to fit in at her new small-town school and ends up falling for football hero Lance and geek study partner Cam. Lance has anger issues and Cam seems to be hiding something, and more than one teacher at her school is mysterious. Even without the foreshadowing it’s an obvious retelling of Jeckyll and Hyde. At times things feel a little forced or repetitive, but it’s not the worst teen revamp I’ve ever read in my life, and I’d probably give the rest of the series a glance over if I was bored. It’s a quick read and there are some good moments.

Hoax Hunters vol 1 by Michael Moreci, Steeve Seeley, and JM Ringuet – I love the concept of this: the people behind a hoax busting reality show are actually paranormal-touched entities who are trying to keep the actual weird events of the world secret. The main story arc about Jack trying to figure out what his dad was up to is interesting and reeks of every conspiracy show I’ve ever seen in my life, which is fine because that works for a reason. All of the characters are fairly likable, but the pacing is just weird. I’m not quite sure why Murder exists other than to provide a convenient plot device to get into hard-to-reach places, etc (Murder would be a spacesuit possessed by an astronaut’s spirit who manifests via a murder of crows. I think). The middle stories were better than Murder’s origin story, and there’s an odd, tacked-on Mothman story illustrated in a different style that I love…but it just doesn’t fit, especially given that the way the Jersey Devil story ends is perfection. That’s the way the volume should have ended. The mothman story is brilliant, but it probably would have worked elsewhere in the volume, or in something else, unless future volumes are going to reference it. The action is fairly well-paced, though sometimes things seem to wrap up a little conveniently, and only a couple of the characters are developed so far. I’d also like to see less focus on the ladies’ poses in some panels, but maybe that’s just distracting to me, and to be fair I’ve seen manga and superhero titles that are way worse.

Vader’s Little Princess by Jeffrey Brown – This is just adorable. If you’re not familiar with Jeffrey Brown’s work, shame on you. What I love about this title is that it explores Vader and Leia’s relationship if they were an interactive father and daughter not just when she’s a kid, but as she’s a teen, too, so you get awesome comics about her dating Han, Vader trying to deal with her rebellion (literal and i an actual member of the rebellion sense), and her questionable taste in wardrobe (yep, that outfit is referenced and it’s fantastic). Love the art, love the humor, love the feels.

Reading with SJ: Graphic Novels part 3

Published July 19, 2015 by admin

Time once again to see what I’ve had in my TBR stacks! Because I can plow through graphic novels at an alarming rate, we’ll take another look at that stack today.

The Gigantic Beard that was Evil by Stephen Collins – I obviously picked this up because of the title because that is brilliant. Written about a perfect little island called Here and the fear of the not-island places called There, this title is wonderful about making you feel better about being imperfect and expressing yourself. It’s a weird, charming story, slightly reminiscent of Tim Burton, but lighter. It’s got a modern setting but feels much more like a strange fairy tale or like something from years ago. Read it in one sitting and absolutely loved it. I developed a ton of sympathy for the lead character throughout, and I’m still not sure what to make of the last pages. Altogether, wonderful book.

The Valiant by Jeff Lemire, Matt Kindt, and Paolo Rivera – I was enamored with this when I saw it on the library shelf, and really excited to read it. I…honestly, I’m probably the one dissenting opinion given the reviews it’s gotten, but I felt like it moved WAY too fast and there was WAY too much going on to really enjoy the story. You never get a full description of what a Geomancer is, what Gilad is actually supposed to do or why. If the Immortal Enemy is necessary, than why are there still Geomancers? What’s his function, anyway, besides to just be evil? Is there some goal or purpose I’m totally missing? Honestly, it felt like I jumped into the middle of something, but I’m not finding any info on the right place to start, if that’s the case. There’s a huge battle scene where heroes just show up and there’s no real revelation on who they are. The Bloodshot/Kay stuff seems rushed and a little forced, which is a shame because I really like her character. I like her personal revelations, but it all seems so pointless by the end. What even happens to the Immortal Enemy? He’s this huge part of the book and then you don’t even see what becomes of him onscreen. I just…while the concepts were interesting, I liked seeing the evolution of Gilad throughout history, I just…really would have liked this to have more to it. I can’t hate it, because it is an interesting story, but I’m really confused. Befuddled. It felt like a set up for other stuff,and I get there are other heroes/books in the universe, but for this particular story…what was I actually supposed to have gotten out of it other than okay, there’s this enemy, there’s this battle, and it kinda got resolved but not really…

Seriously, someone explain this one to me.

The Last Dragon by Jane Yolen and Rebecca Guay – I love Jane Yolen anyway, but this book is beautiful. It’s a unique sort of story that would fit in with a lot of folkstories. The people of the Island of May assume that all the dragons were killed hundreds of years ago, but when one shows up, it’s up to the healer’s daughter Tansy to help guide the revolt against the beast. While some of this is typical fantasy and some of the characterizations are a smidge stereotypical, I couldn’t help but like the character of Tansy. She’s the youngest, she dances to her own music, yet she’s smart and compassionate. It’s also really interesting to take the time to read all the background dialogue between people of the village – the perfect interpretation of how life goes on in a town even as tragedy happens, and people’s own opinion of things and how their lives are turning out. Let me just say, I also really like the character of Lancot, and I didn’t think I was going to. Presented as a drunken hero con artist at first, he actually turns out to be a storyteller who’s cashed in on his ability to tell people of adventures they yearn to still be true. When he realizes that he’s actually been hired to kill a dragon and runs into Tansy as he tries to take the coward’s way out, she doesn’t judge him, but helps him figure out a solution based on his own interests. The kite scenes were magical, and although their relationship is a little forced/fast-paced,it’s not unbelievable. He’s a different sort of hero, but at the end of the day it’s him AND Tansy who save the day, which is refreshing. I do feel like your enjoyment will depend on what you want from a story like this. I agree with some of the commentary that the artwork is a little uneven – some pages it looks more rustic than others. It still fits with the genre, though I do agree that I wished things could have flowed a little better from panel to panel. It definitely doesn’t read like a comic book and more like a grown-up/teen story book, if that makes sense. I loved the oversized feel of the book, it made me feel like a kid reading a picture book and discovering magic between the pages all over again. All in all, though, I curled up with this late on a Friday night a few weeks ago, and had a lovely time losing myself in the pages.

The Star Wars by JW Rinzler and Mike Mayhew – I…okay, I love the original Star Wars series. I have a love/hate relationship with the universe as a whole, as a lot of fans do. I get why this was made. Conceptually it sounds interesting (and profitable): hey, let’s take the original rough draft of Star Wars and give it life in comics!

In reality? Please do not pay money for this. There are a few things that are interesting: seeing Darth Vader broken essentially into two characters (that are both confusing and pointless), Han Solo as a giant green alien, the Wookie battle Lucas originally intended for the first movie with the original Wookie design,talking R2-D2, and the Sith and Jedi as two different warrior groups with no real connection to magic or religion . Overall, though, this is such a mess. I feel like chunks were missing, it moved so fast. It reads like he was trying to cram an entire trilogy of action into one movie. There is SO MUCH political talk and fighter pilot talk…for those who have slogged through A New Hope the novel, this is worse. So much worse.

There’s also a lot of dialogue that takes you out of the story – a lot of modern/ earth phrases that just don’t fit the Star Wars universe in any form. I still have no idea how many planets were involved in this version. Theme-wise, it’s a complete rip off of Flash Gordon and a lot of serials like it. You can see very obviously what his influences were, but his interpretation of them just…no. You have plot elements that just don’t work, like Leia and Annikin Starkiller declaring their love randomly at different times in battle/action when they’ve barely known each other all that long…and after Annikin punches Leia in the face. Yep. You read that right. And she’s also portrayed as somewhat younger than her on screen version, too, so that makes it just awesome to see on the page.

Scenes like the death of Mr.Starkiller (Annikin’s dad. I’m not opening the book to look up the name), or Prince Valorum gallantly switching sides don’t mean a thing because they’re immediately glossed over and not resolved. Overall, a lot of the characters are harsh and mean or complete cardboard. While there are a lot of things that are interesting to see because you can tell what they got re-interpreted into, I just…it’s not worth it. Get it at the library if you’re that curious.

I find it hard to believe Lucas Publishing was that desperate for profits to release this into the world. I’d be embarrassed to show this to people, honestly. I get that he’s at a point where this is an interesting study of early draft, but it wasn’t necessary at all. It really adds nothing to the mythology and, if anything, I could see it compromising a lot of fan feelings for the universe. This obviously shows that Lucas prefers action and it just isn’t always a good thing. It defeats the purpose of all his interviews about the importance of storytelling, because this is a jumbled, appropriated mess. This is cross genre without trying to blend the elements into a complete new product.

The art is the strong point. Facial expressions are beautiful, movement dynamic, the choices of dress and other things to allude to what these early versions influenced is interesting…but also problematic. I honestly don’t know if a lot of these designs were original and turned into the versions we know in the movies by the original production team, or if the artist was that clever to give us all visual cues to help us keep track of things. Also, was it really necessary to make General Luke Skywalker look like a militaristic George Lucas? Seriously, that’s all I could see, and it severely turned me off throughout the book.

Which brings us to my other huge problem with this. This may be a early draft, but I am highly suspicious of it being the only early draft. This is the problem when you’re marketing things to anal fans with good memories and collections they still have in their basements. I dug around until I found my old copy of Star Wars: The Making of the Movie I bought years ago at a library book sale. It’s a children’s book written circa 1980 by Random House. Pages 58-61 talk about the Star Wars that Might Have Been. Please note that these pages include the same character designs for Chewbacca/Wookies as The Star Wars, and the SAME design that’s called Luke Skywalker in The Star Wars is referred to as Han Solo here.

It details out several other early versions: one where there was no Darth Vader, no Death Star, but the villains were a planet of Wookies who rode on giant birds. In another version, Luke was a princess who was trying to rescue her brother with the help of Han Solo, who was old enough to be her father (or militaristic George Lucas). Apparently, next came a version starring C-3PO and R2.

I fully get that this is from a kid’s book, but it was copyrighted in part by Lucasfilm, so it had to have gotten some approval to be published. I also get that there has never been a coherent timeline/streamlined story between the main titles, the EU, and everything else Lucas’s companies have tried to do. I get it. It’s hard to keep all of that streamlined, especially when it wasn’t known how big things were going to get and you’re taking things on a case by case basis. But that also, in turn, makes me wonder what draft got made into this comic, or if it was multiple drafts crafted together to be interesting/show evolution of the universe and foreshadowing, because it truly does not read like one full draft of a movie. Still, that just makes it harder, because I honestly don’t know what to believe now. Did the art team make things look similar to parts of the original trilogy and the prequels on purpose or were these things always there? Is this actually THE rough draft or one of many? Is this just another thing produced in the hopes that I feel like I have to have it and pay money for it?

Honestly, it makes me not care. If anything, it’s one of the hundreds of reasons that fandom/universe tired me out. While interesting, this just feels like one of many products put out to make money off the Star Wars name, and for no good reason. If anything, this is almost a detriment to the trilogy, because it makes you wonder how much thought actually went into things and how much was being crafted by design teams and done out of necessity. I love seeing early versions of stuff. I’m a sucker for production work. I don’t expect everything to be perfect because I know how that process works, but this…this just makes me feel sad and irritable.