May The Fourth Be With You Peter Mayhew

Palitoy Chewbacca Bandolier offer. Return of the Jedi N°28, 1984. UK.

Happy Star Wars Day!

I’m dedicating this year’s May The 4th Be With You post to actor Peter Mayhew, who passed away on the 30th April 2019, aged 74. Peter Mayhew was famous for playing the role of fearless Wookiee, Chewbacca, in the original Star Wars trilogy films. Mayhew also appeared in the Holiday Special, Revenge of the Sith, and The Force Awakens. In later films, due to declining health, he acted as a consultant for the character.

Peter Mayhew. Image: Lucasfilm.

For me, Chewbacca is one of the standout heroes from the Star Wars universe; physical, imposing, frightening, yet with a deep sense of loyalty to his friends and the rebel fight. I’ll never get over the impact upon hearing Chewie cry out in pain at the death of his dear friend, Han Solo, in The Force Awakens. Powerful stuff.

As for Peter Mayhew who played Chewbacca, I’ve only ever heard the very best sentiments of his warmth, friendliness and humanity over the years, from both his fellow actors and the fans who adored him and were lucky enough to meet him. Mayhew wrote two books aimed at young readers: Growing Up Giant, about how being different is a strength rather than a weakness, and an anti-bullying book for children My Favorite Giant.

Rest in peace Peter Mayhew, thanks for all your good work, and we’ll always let the Wookiee win!


UK. Starburst. 1980.

What Can You Get A Wookiee for Christmas (When He Already Owns A Comb?). 7inch vinyl record. 1980. RSO records.

Planet of the Hoojibs. 7 inch vinyl record. Buena Vista Records. 1983.

The Star Wars Book of Masks. Random House. 1983. Mask #2. Chewbacca.


In other Star Wars Day news…

Here’s a new ad I picked up recently, for the Droids and Ewoks cartoon series on VHS.

Star Wars Ewoks and Droids on VHS. 1988. UK.

More Ewoks?

Star Comics. 1985. US.

Just a few more Ewoks?

Ewok Village Play Set. France. 1985.

One last Ewok…

Logray, Medicine Man action figure. 1983. From the collection of TVTA.

And finally, a TVTA May the 4th tradition…

Will this post be sushi-free?

Not on your nelly!

May The Sushi also Be With You!

Admiral Ackbar sushi set. Image eBay.

Happy Star Wars Day!

Post updated with two Chewbacca records.

Fond farewells Stan Lee

“Comic books to me are fairy tales for grown-ups.”

Stan Lee as… Stan Lee. Groo N°50. 1989. Marvel. US.

It’s hard to imagine there is anyone who hasn’t been touched, thrilled, excited or inspired in some way by Stan Lee’s work during his long and distinguished career. In collaboration with artists like Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Bill Everett and Larry Leiber – Stan Lee co-created a magnificent universe of fictional characters that included Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, The X-Men, Daredevil, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, Iron Man, and Thor. He was editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, later its publisher and also chairman, before becoming the public figurehead for the company following his retirement. He continued working into his 90s and made many cameo roles in Marvel films.

Beyond his influential writing and energy, Stan was a good advocate for humankind; asking us all to be a little more tolerant and kinder as human beings. The Stan Lee Foundation was founded in 2010 to focus on literacy, education, diversity and the arts.

Below is a gallery of print adverts featuring some of the co-creations of Stan Lee. Take a moment to consider the thousands upon thousands of people who have worked on these characters over the years – either in print format, animation and movies, toys, games and household goods. It all comes back to one man’s writing skills coupled with a handful of artists who shared his same vision. RIP Stan Lee, who died today aged 95.


 


Stan Lee. 1922 – 2018.

Fond farewells Carlos Ezquerra – comic artist and co-creator of Judge Dredd

2000 AD 40th Anniversary Prog. 2017. UK.

I was sad to hear about the passing of Carlos Ezquerra on Monday aged 70. I grew up reading the British comic 2000 AD, with Judge Dredd being one of my all-time favourite characters. Alongside writers Pat Mills and John Wagner, Ezquerra created the formidable and unbending future cop Dredd and the vast city in which to place him: the crime-ridden hellhole that is Mega-City One.

2000 AD Annual 1989. UK.

With his instantly recognisable drawing style, Ezquerra’s legacy to Judge Dredd and other 2000 AD staples like Strontium Dog will be long lasting I think. Below is a selection of Ezquerra covers and ads scanned from my collection, including images from the brilliant 1980s series The Apocalypse War. Thank you Carlos for enriching my comic book experience.

2000 AD ft Judge Dredd. Prog 333. 1983.


The Apocalypse War. Ezquerra/Wagner/Grant. 1982.

Below images from Eagle Comics 1985 UK colourised editions.

The Apocalypse War. Advert. Judge Dredd Vol 1 N°19 1985. UK.

The Apocalypse War Part 1. Judge Dredd Vol 1 N°20 1985. UK.


Carlos Ezquerra. 1947 – 2018.

 

The horror, the horror – Remembering Poltergeist’s Heather O’Rourke

They’re here!”

Only 27 days to Halloween!

As Halloween creeps closer, TVTA remembers the American child actress and star of Poltergeist movie trilogy Heather Michelle O’Rourke. O’Rourke (born 27 December, 1975) played the character Carol Anne Freeling, youngest child of the Freeling family who becomes the conduit for terrifying supernatural entities that haunt her family. Sadly O’Rourke died during the making of Poltergeist III of cardiac arrest caused by septic shock due to intestinal stenosis. She died on the first of February 1988 aged 12 years old. Poltergeist III was released posthumously and dedicated to her. As well as her role in the trilogy, O’Rourke appeared in the TV series Happy Days, Fantasy Island, CHiPs and others.

I’d rank the original Poltergeist high in my list of favourite horror films, with O’Rourke’s performance being a standout. Below are Japanese chirashi movie posters for Poltergeist and Poltergeist III.

Poltergeist. 1982.

Poltergeist. 1982. Japanese chirashi. Front.

Poltergeist. 1982. Japanese chirashi. Back.

Poltergeist III. 1988.

Poltergeist III. 1988. Japanese chirashi. Front.

Poltergeist III. 1988. Japanese chirashi. Back.


Did we mention Halloween is one of TVTA’s favourite annual events?   

Look out for more special Halloween posts coming soon!