And Then I Read: STARSTRUCK 3-7

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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.

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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.

One thought on “And Then I Read: STARSTRUCK 3-7

  1. Eric Gimlin

    At least a couple of the GGG stories were backups in the Rocketeer issues Comico did.

    I’ve seen large chunks of this material, in one form or another, but even discounting the new stuff I haven’t seen close to all of it. I’m enjoying the new run very much. Kaluta’s work is just beautiful.

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