Star Wars Comic Book Artists Speak on the Birth of an Empire

In the ever-expanding supernova of subsidiary content in the Star Wars universe (action figures, Lego sets, video games, novels, TV movies, cartoons, and theme park rides), comic books hold a special place. One reason is because the first of Marvel's six-issue comic adaptation of the original film hit stands just a month after the movie was released.

Marvel made a good bet on Star Wars. The 107-issue series continued for nearly 10 years. Despite pauses to adapt the stories of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, most issues contained original stories — the first body of derivative Star Wars story material ever released.

Two key contributors to the early days of this run, penciller Howard Chaykin and inker Steve Leialoha, appear tonight at the Cartoon Art Museum for the event Celebrating 35 Years of Star Wars Comic Books to mark the 35th anniversary of the first issue's release.

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