Images © Elaine Lee and Michael Wm. Kaluta.
I don’t usually review things I’ve lettered, and I don’t plan to talk much about the content of these books, but I do have some comments. They look great, particularly because of the new coloring by Lee Moyer, he’s doing a wonderful job. Though I lettered much of the content, it was a long time ago, and while I’m not reading every page, there are parts that seem almost new to me, while others are like revisiting old friends.
STARSTRUCK has had a long and somewhat convoluted creative and publishing history. It first appeared in America serialized in HEAVY METAL magazine, though I believe it may have seen print first in Europe. I seem to recall the original coloring was done in Spain, though I could be wrong about that. Michael and Elaine asked me to letter it, paying me directly, and even though I was on staff at DC Comics then, it was okay because HEAVY METAL was a magazine, not a comic, and not considered direct competition by DC. Good thing, because I had a great time working with Michael and Elaine, going up to Michael’s apartment with lettered pages, and talking over the next batch with both of them. They asked a lot from a newby letterer, and I tried hard to deliver. It was the first time I was called on to letter in a wide variety of styles, and it was good practice for books like SANDMAN.
STARSTRUCK next went to Marvel, who issued the original serial as a graphic novel. Elaine and Michael did some added pages for this, and I received special permission from DC to letter them for the competition. There was a memorable lunch with editor Archie Goodwin and Elaine where she and I went on and on about the minutiae of the lettering while Archie just nodded, looking a bit stunned that there could be so much to say about it. Marvel then published more STARSTRUCK as an Epic comic. I couldn’t letter the new material for that, unfortunately.
For a while after that it was at Tundra, where more new material was done. Much of the Galactic Girl Guides stories were created for Tundra, I think. I lettered some of those, being a full-time freelancer at that point, while John Workman did others. One of the best things about these new IDW issues is the use of those stories, some of which I barely remember working on, and others I never saw at all. There were longer GGG stories written by Elaine and drawn by Linda Medley that I lettered for Tundra, too. Hope those see print someday.
Next, STARSTRUCK went to Dark Horse, where more new material was created. I lettered it, and also relettered some of the Marvel pages that Michael wasn’t happy with. I hate redoing someone else’s lettering, but he talked me into it, and bribed me with a fine piece of original art. The one downside of the Dark Horse books was that they were black and white except for the covers.
The new IDW issues are, I think, the best showcase the property has ever had. Here’s one of those John Workman-lettered GGG backup stories that I never saw before. While the main story has a nice mix of science fiction, horror, suspense, melodrama, poetry and humor, the Galactic Girl Guides are mostly played for laughs, and I find them a delight. If you’ve never read the series, or even if you have, I highly recommend this new run.