I recently found old faded samples of some of the first drawings I ever had “published”; some fan art submitted to BANTHA TRACKS, the 1970s/80s STAR WARS fan club newsletter.
Soon after my 13 year old mind was thoroughly blown by STAR WARS in 1977, I saw an ad in a magazine (probably a 1978 issue of STARLOG) soliciting members for the STAR WARS FANCLUB, and I eagerly sent in my application. A few weeks later, I received my first issues of the fanclub newsletter that kept mouth breathers around the planet updated on our movie obsession; the ongoing Star Wars saga. OH BOY!
Over the next few years I sent several cartoons to the newsletter, which was a simple pamphlet folded from one broadsheet of paper, and my cartoons were even published, which was quite a thrill for a dorky 14-16 year old living in a small town on the far side of the world.
Recently finding a few faded issues of this old fanzine was a major nostalgia blast from a time when such fan newsletters and zines were how we sweaty fan nerds stayed in touch with each other, and got information on our various obsessions. A network since replaced by THE INTERNET.
12 thoughts on “Bantha Tracks”
yes, remember it well – typewritten mimeographed – or – luxury!- xeroxed – 8 1/2 x 11 paper folded in half and stapled on the seam, crappy black n white repro, fan cartoons, ads to order stuff, – my particular experience was the historical re enactment world. it was crude but it was how the network communicated and it worked.
Yes, it’s strange thinking back to that time when we had such a hard time getting information, about anything really. I guess ZINES and such were the first forms of social media.
That’s some good poo doo right there!
Ha ha! Well played, Arvin!
Great stuff James! Such a great moment in time.
Thanks Peter! By this time I’d already got some small illustrations gigs in my hometown (T-shirt designs etc) but seeing these in print was a special thrill.
You had to be far too talented to immerse yourself in Bantha Tracks as you did Jimmy.
I was a Phantom Club member which involved getting stuff in the mail and being happy in the knowledge that there were times when the Phantom would leave the jungle and “walk as an ordinary man.”
I don’t know.. To some degree it was immersing myself in such nerdy fantasies that probably fired my imagination.
I always liked The Phantom but I was never a member of his fan club, however my Dad was a member when he was a kid ( his mum took away the skull ring because it was ‘Satanic’. Ha ha!)
Hey Jamie, That’s pretty cool. Was that fan club independent from Lucasfilm? The fanzine sounds really crude, even for that time.
hey Dave! Yes, it was run out of Lucasfilm in San Rafael. It was quite nicely laid out and fun to look at. You can see some example HERE
You had the skills right from the start Jamie, man at that age I was messing around with cars and model planes.
Nice compositions and funny gags btw.
You don’t fool me for a moment, Arthur. You were BORN drawing awesome cartoons.