Random Quickies: Star Wars: Age 9


I used to draw a comic when I was younger. It was called “Ninja Bears,” a pretty transparent reinterpretation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If, for any reason, one of those pages ever turned up again I would shriek in terror and then shred the paper maniacally.

John White (a professional illustrator) is far more game. He recently unearthed his comic adaptation that he worked on when he was between 9 and 14 years old. Rather than destroying his primitive efforts in a fit of embarrassment, he released everything online as Star Wars: Age 9.

Now, is this comic readable? Technically, yes. It’s actually impressive to see what a kid can accomplish with little formal training. (Though, to be fair, White does admit that a lot of his panels were copied straight from Howard Chaykin’s Marvel Comics adaptation.). At the end of the day, though, it’s still a comic written by a kid, and that’s hardly ever appointment reading.

The real fun is in the annotations. From rediscovering where he picked up certain lines that weren’t originally in the movies to cheeky observations on his own art, Star Wars: Age 9 is just as much a written record of the fandom and their wild, impressionable imaginations as it originally took hold in 1977. The tone is nostalgic and wistful, with a touch of bemusement and a whole lot of images of vintage collectibles.

The webcomic includes all new illustrated panels drawn by an older John White… But sadly, these pale to the originals. After all, can these new panels claim the bold artistic decision to incorporate a collectible bubble gum card? I think not.


About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on November 19, 2013, in Random Quickies, The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. As a 9 year old, this guy already exhibited talent that an art major student would be jealous of.

    • I agree! When I was nine, I drew a lot of comics about my own interests and prided myself on my own “wonderful drawing skills,” and I never considered even attempting a realistic or dynamic look like he did. (Also, the bubblegum card “multimedia approach.”)

  2. clivethedesigner

    Thanks everyone, and thanks for the review. Sorry the newer stuff “pales…”, but I’m learning. I too feel that SWa9 is still the best big project I’ve ever done.

    Here’s what I’m doing right now, to see if I can do comics properly – and let off steam

  3. I love John’s site, and he’s been very kind about my own blog (

    My only quibble is that when John gently mocks his nine-year-old self, I occasionally want to stand up for nine-year-old John, because it seems to me he has an astonishing visual imagination.

    I think the comic demonstrates something important about the world into which the original Star Wars was released — something that younger people don’t always get. In those days, after seeing the movie once, we kids had to try and reconstruct it in our imaginations as best we could, drawing on our memories of that first viewing, comics, books, bubble gum cards and whatever other sources we had. John did it more successfully than most of us.

  4. Hey just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the
    pictures aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
    I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and
    both show the same results.

  5. clivethedesigner

    Hi Chris,
    Thanks for letting me know. Much appreciated! The site was hacked and I’m now rebuilding it. I’ll try to get the link re-directs sorted out.

  6. Thanks for finally writing about >Random Quickies: Star Wars: Age 9 | The Webcomic Overlook
    <Loved it!

  7. Hi there to all, how is all, I think every one is getting more from this website, and your views are nice in support of new people.

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