In the early 1990s, The Topps Company was looking to recapture the magic of its Star Wars trading cards, one of its most successful lines ever. To do it, they asked some of the film and comic book industry's very best talent to create original works of art. The result was Star Wars Galaxy, a trading card line released in three series from 1993 to 1995.
A new book from Abrams Comic Arts, Star Wars Galaxy: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, features art from more than 170 artists, including Sergio Aragonés (MAD Magazine), Simon Bisley (Judge Dredd), Bret Blevins (New Mutants), June Brigman (Brenda Starr), J. Scott Campbell (Spider-Man), Howard Chaykin (Star Wars comics), Mark Chiarello (Hellboy), Gene Colan (Daredevil), Amanda Connor (Power Girl, Vampirella), Steve Ditko (Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and other Marvel and DC classics), Colleen Doran (The Sandman, Wonder Woman), Rick Geary (Heavy Metal), Dave Gibbons (Watchmen), Keith Giffen (Suicide Squad), Jean "Moebius" Giraud (Alien, Tron and The Fifth Element) Mike Grell (Green Lantern, Green Arrow), Jeffrey Jones, Jack Kirby, Karl Kesel (Superman, Captain America), Jae Lee (Inhumans, Namor the Sub-Mariner), Mike Mignola (Hellboy), Jimmy Palmiotti (Punisher, Harley Quinn and Jonah Hex), George Perez (The Avengers, Teen Titans, Crisis on Infinite Earths), Joe Quesada (former editor in chief of Marvel Comics), Harvey and Eisner award-winning P. Craig Russel, Jim Starlin (Captain Marvel, creator of Gamora among others), poster artist Drew Struzan (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, Harry Potter and Blade Runner), Jill Thompson (The Sandman) and the original Star Wars concept artist, Ralph McQuarrie.
The slim volume, scheduled for a March 15 release, includes art-quality reproductions of every card in the set as well as a foreword by Gary Gerani, the creator, editor and writer of hundreds of Topps trading card products.
Abrams was kind enough to share a few exclusive preview images with Polygon. Quotes below are captions provided by the team at Lucasfilm.
- Cover art for Star Wars Galaxy: The Original Trading Card Series.
- "A fanciful look at fugitive droids under siege by Steve Ditko, the reclusive comic book legend famed for Spider-Man and other Marvel greats."
- "George Evans captured the hellish flavor of the carbon-freeze sequence from The Empire Strikes Back with acrylics and colored pencil." Evens is famous for his cover for Crime Suspenstories # 23, which was brought as evidence before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency in 1954.
- "Hellboy creator Mike Mignola turned his considerable pen-and-ink skill to this depiction of an imposing Tusken Raider on Tatooine."
- "Ink and watercolors were used in this atmospheric portrait of Wicket, an Ewok on Endor’s forest moon, as rendered by celebrated fantasy artist William Stout."
- "Colleen Doran missed out on a chance to render villainous Lumiya for the comics, so she relished this opportunity to create a dramatic, full-figure study."
- "Jack Kirby, the 'King of Comics,' turned his legendary talent to the Star Wars universe, with inks by Michael Thibodeaux and color by Janet Jackson."
- "In her heroic depiction of this iconic event, painter Zina Saunders celebrated Luke and Leia’s famous swing to safety in the original movie."
- The Series One retail display box. Art by Ken Steacy, 1993.
Image Credit: Star Wars Galaxy: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, by The Topps Company © Abrams ComicArts, 2016. © 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. And TM. All Rights Reserved. Used Under Authorization.