Sunday, July 23, 2006

AWtC Back-Issue Spotlight: Star Wars Tales #20

Star Wars Tales #20 came out in 2004 and unless you were really paying attention, you probably missed it. I don’t follow the SW comics at all and so preordered this based on the creative lineup, which consisted of such alternative comics luminaries as Peter Bagge, Tony Millionaire, Bob Fingerman, and several others.

The first story is "George R. Binks", by Millionaire, in which we meet Jar Jar’s father, a whaler. George spends the whole story on a low boil as Jar Jar screws up a whaling trip, sinking the ship and stranding then on a desert island. Out of his mind with rage and frustration George attempts to blow his own brains out, but fails and hallucinates a better life. Then he wakes up to see Jar Jar with a squid stuck to his face. Millionaire’s usual approach, a mix of grotesque absurdity and dark humor, comes through in this story.

I’m a huge fan of Peter Bagge, so "Failing Up With Jar Jar Binks" is the highlight of the book for me. It follows Jar Jar’s skyrocketing political fortunes despite his being a complete gibbering idiot. Let’s just say it parodies certain real life politics and politicians ALL TOO WELL.

These were the high points of the book for me, but it also had fun, funny stories by Bob Fingerman, Jason, Rick Geary, Jim Campbell, Chris Eliopoulos, James Kochalka, and Gilbert Hernandez. They’re not all perfect, but there’s more good than bad. I have no idea if it’s still in print, but if you get a chance, Star Wars Tales #20 is well worth a look.

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