March 30

Star Wars Galaxy (Topps) – Gary Gerani

Star Wars GalaxyIn 1993, 10 years after the release of Return of the Jedi, the Topps Company reintroduced the Star Wars universe to collectors with a series of trading cards.

Illustrated by the biggest names in science-fiction, fantasy and comicsincluding Kyle Baker, Moebius, Jon J Muth, William Stout, Walter Simonson, and Boris VallejoGeorge Lucass galaxy is reinterpreted in each artists own style, portraying favourite characters, recreating classic scenes, and even inventing new scenes the illustrators always wanted to see.

These trading-card images became instant fan favourites and the benchmark for visual reinterpretations of Star Wars to come. For the first time, this collection showcases the complete New Visions series; rare promotional images; and an introduction and commentary by Gary Gerani, the original editor of the Toppss Star Wars series.

 

My thanks to Alexandra at Abrams for my review copy.

We recently took our young bookworms to the Huntarian Art Gallery (Glasgow) to visit their latest exhibition: COMIC INVENTION.  As a lifelong reader of comic books (or Graphic Novels when I want to sound more grown-up) I was keen to let my boys see how comics had evolved over the years.  The exhibition is well worth a trip and the details are here:  http://www.gla.ac.uk/hunterian/visit/exhibitions/exhibitionprogramme/comicinvention/

 

After the Comic Invention display we took in the rest of the gallery. We realised that my youngest was loving the art and seemingly has a good eye for designs and style….his big brother, not so much. Older bookworm is not enchanted by pictures of random shapes or faces of people he has never heard of and (to be perfectly honest) neither am I…When it comes to art I know what I like and it is usually pictures with ‘POW’ and ‘ZAP’ surrounding Batman or Spider-man.

However, I had a secret weapon to engage the interest of the disenchanted boy – Star Wars Galaxy.  My son, like his Dad, is a bit of a collector – and Topps Trading Cards have been a bit of a guilty pleasure in the past.  This is artwork I can relate to – the best artists in the land capturing people, creatures, droids and scenes from the original Star Wars trilogy. When we got back from the museum trip I brought out Star Wars Galaxy from its hiding place and sat down with the bookworm to look at pictures we could relate to.  Happily he was on much more comfortable ground with the collection of classic trading card images and we spent ages looking at different art styles and interpretations that were collected and wonderfully presented by Gary Gerani.

There are over 200 pages in Star Wars Galaxy and as a rough estimate I would say over 150 classic trading cards are represented.  I loved seeing Steve Ditko’s R2-D2/C3PO picture (I am a huge Ditko fan) but my son hardly glanced at it – he lingered on other pictures which I would have gladly skipped by.  Art is so subjective but this collection seems to cater for many tastes and the editor’s helpful commentary added an extra level of detail to our appreciation.

I actually took the book into the office to show a colleague one of the pictures that I had particularly liked. It generated massive interest around the department and sparked dozens of conversations about the ongoing Star Wars love that we all seem to harbour and I was amazed just how many people used to collect trading cards!

The high point for my bookworm was the discovery that the book contained some bonus trading cards. Actual cards! He was over the moon and has squirrelled the book away on his bookshelves beside his much loved Wimpy Kid stories.

One final note – this is not a comprehensive collection, it is a selection of images chosen by the editor.  The book does not suffer in any way from missing some of the images in the collection but it does seem to irritate purists.

Star Wars Galaxy is a wonderful collection which would delight Star Wars fans of all ages.  The trading cards are well presented, the editor notes are witty, informed and insightful and the book looks and feels gorgeous.

 

Star Wars Galaxy is published by Abrams Books. You can order a copy here:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Star-Wars-Galaxy-Topps-Gerani/dp/1419719130/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1459290636&sr=8-1&keywords=star+wars+galaxy+topps

 

 


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Posted March 30, 2016 by Gordon in category "From The Bookshelf