Hasslein Blog: GUEST BLOG: A Day Long Remembered for the Star Wars Fan Community

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Monday, March 25, 2013

GUEST BLOG: A Day Long Remembered for the Star Wars Fan Community

Today, Eddie van der Heijden offers a guest blog discussing his role in a project I recently undertook for starwars.com, for Star Wars fandom and, of course, for my own geekiness. Take it away, Eddie...
—Rich Handley



A Day Long Remembered for the
Star Wars Fan Community

By Eddie van der Heijden


One danger in being a long-time Star Wars Expanded Universe (EU) story collector is daring to think that you know it all. I realize how bad that sounds, but it is the truth (at least in my case). You think you're aware of all the stories out there, from the very first original adventure, published on Sept. 13, 1977 ("New Planets, New Perils," in Marvel's Star Wars #7), right up to those being published right now (Ania Solo, anyone?). I first became aware of the marvelous Star Wars stories that expanded the adventures of our heroes way back in the pre-Internet days of 1983, when I, as a 15-year-old Dutch young man, visited a small store in Amsterdam. There, on a small comics rack, I noticed a copy of Star Wars #63 ("The Mind Spider"), which I immediately bought. That was the genesis of the story collector I am now (and have been for the past 30 years).

I have always been very proud of my Star Wars collection, which includes (almost) all comics, novels, magazines, short stories and online content published to date. (Or so I thought.) I maintain a precise database of items I am still missing, so you can imagine my suspicion when, in a post on Dec. 16, 2012, a new forum member at the Dark Horse Star Wars boards mentioned original Spanish comics based on the Ewoks and Droids television series. In his first post, Adolfo Rodriguez wrote:

"My first time here, hello. What about the ewoks and droids comics from Spain? There were a comic named MyComyc here in Spain that included four pages of our favorite characters: two for ewoks, and two for droids."


My first thought was one of disbelief: Yeah, right, they're probably Spanish translations of the U.S. Ewoks and Droids comics, I thought, as published by Marvel under their STAR Comics imprint from 1985 to 1987. A little searching on the Internet turned up a vague image of one of these MyComyc issues. It was a Spanish-language Ewoks page, which looked very similar to the U.S. comics AND had a 1986 copyright date on it. As a long-time collector, I did not even bother to go to the attic and pull out my old Ewoks comics to compare this page, as I firmly believe I was right: They had to be Marvel reprints.


In a second post, Adolfo once again stated that he was sure they were originals, so I asked him for some scans. The fact that he answered a little evasively (which was probably more due to the language barrier than actual evasion) was further proof for me that they were not originals—but boy, was I wrong! Three weeks later, I discovered two e-mails from Adolfo in my inbox, which included some scans of both the Spanish Ewoks and Droids comics, and this time I did visit the attic to compare them. Within a few minutes, I realized that these were original Spanish comics, created way back in 1986! Somehow, they had gone unnoticed by me and my fellow story collectors for more than 25 years!

Since I was unable to learn more about these elusive MyComyc tales, I decided to post two images on my Star Wars Upcoming SW Books & Comics Facebook page, on Jan. 12, 2013. Maybe somewhere out there, I figured, someone could tell me more about these, as I surely wanted them in my collection (and I still do, but having procured scans, both in Spanish AND English, is very satisfying for the moment). A short time later, Adolfo supplied me with high-resolution scans of ALL the comic pages, which I forwarded to Rich Handley, who has been the main drive to get these out in the open ever since I first mentioned them on Facebook. Alas, there are no records at Lucasfilm which state that these are licensed stories, so Dark Horse is unable to include them in their excellent Omnibus reprint collections (yet). But for now, these pages will find a new audience through the efforts of Rich, Abel G. Peña, Mike Beidler and, of course Adolfo, who started this all.


From this most excellent and satisfying experience, I have become a little more careful whenever someone mentions obscure, unknown material. I now realize that it is a big world out there, and the chance that something unknown will pop up, however remote, is always there.

Now, what's this I've been hearing about original Hungarian Han Solo novels?

May the Force be with you all…


(Click here to read a companion blog by Abel G. Peña, discussing his work on this project. And stay tuned for later this week, when Rich will discuss the Spanish comics in detail at starwars.com.)



Eddie van der Heijden is a Dutch collector of Star Wars books and comics. When not working as a central heating technician or spending time with his wife and two younglings, he updates his Upcoming Books and Comics Facebook page to let people know about all the exciting projects on the horizon. He also frequently works on his day-to-day Star Wars timeline which, at the current rate, should be finished somewhere around 2035. This timeline WILL include all written and online stories available, and 0.01 percent of this can currently be seen on his website, www.starwarstimeline.com. A few years ago, he was invited by fellow timeliner Nathan P. Butler to work out some dates for Star Wars: The Essential Atlas, for which he created the dates for the New Jedi Order era.

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4 Comments:

At March 27, 2013 at 5:28 AM , Blogger Attila Bonyár said...

Dear Eddie,
actually I'm Hungarian and I have those original Hungarian Han Solo novels you mention at the end of your article. There are four of them and they were released around the time when the original Brian Daley trilogy came out. The format of the series was the same, so at that time (around 1992) we thought that the four books are official sequels of the Daley trilogy. It was some time ago, but as far as I remember the quality of the stories was not far behind from the Daley trilogy. Three of them were written by "Dale Avery" (a Hungarian writer): Han Solo the imperial agent, Han Solo and the bounty hunters, Han Solo's war. One was witten by "Ed Fischer": Han Solo's nomads. Google on "Han Solo + Dale Avery" for the covers if you are intersted.
Best wishes,
Attila

 
At March 27, 2013 at 11:55 PM , Blogger Eddie van der Heijden said...

Hey Attila!
Thanks for the info! I already managed to track down three of the four books in pdf-form, although I very much would like to own the actual copies (still searching for them, though).
I find it extremely interesting (and quite understandable) that in these almost-pre-Internet-days you guys thought these were official continuations of the Brian Daley books! It is interesting to read the smallprint, which states that these are reprints of UK books (they even supply a fake author-name and an English title!!!), and that the actual authors are credited as the translators!!!
And I LOVE the covers!!!!
Greetz,
Eddie

 
At April 22, 2013 at 3:23 AM , Blogger Attila Bonyár said...

Hi Eddie,
well if you're really interested I can help you get the books. They are more or less accessible in used book stores here for a reasonable price(around 3-4 Euro per book) plus the postage. Just let me know. I can ask about the actual prices as well, one of my friends works in a used book store.
(Sorry for the big delay in my answer, I've just finished my PhD dissertation last week and had plenty of work to do...)
Greetings,
Attila

 
At April 22, 2013 at 4:00 AM , Blogger Eddie van der Heijden said...

Thanks man! Yes, I am extremely interested! You can contact me at my email-address: ed.heijden@planet.nl

 

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