2019 – the end, 2020 – a beginning

Even for a person who has spent the last 40+ years in genre fandom such as Doctor Who, Star Wars, X-Men, Avengers, 2019 was a memorable year for endings. 

I’ve been a Star Wars fan from 1976 when I first picked up the book. In 1977, the movie came out, and I dived in the deep end. I went many times with my equally obsessed friends. So The Rise of Skywalker, an official ending to the Star Wars  saga is a moment to be marked in my life. 

Years later, I was lucky enough to cover Star Wars for years as a journalist. In December, I came out as a dedicated fan lit writer in the documentary Looking for Leia, now available Syfy.com and YouTube. If you have daughters who like Star Wars but feel intimidated, watch the 7 segments of LFL which are between 10 and 15 minutes each.

They will realize there are world of women and girls in Star Wars fandom to welcome them. My segment was on the women fans from the very start of fandom of Star Wars fandom, but whose very existence had been forgotten.  

However, anyone who thinks that The Rise of Skywalker is the end of the Star Wars universe have missed the phenomena called The Mandalorian, on Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+. The series is the closest in feel to the original Star Wars that I’ve experienced. 

When I first brushed into Doctor Who, I was a child staring at a small black-and-white television, and got sucked into the fantasy of the old man, his daughter and a blue police box who had adventures in time and space. 

Now The Doctor is a woman, played by Jodie Whittaker, returning January 2020 after a year’s hiatus. New stories, new worlds, and a new take on a 50 year old character and television series. Times change. 

In my mid-teens, I collected comic books. This was the time of Dark PhoenixAvengers, and Xmas. A couple of years later, I ended up going to art school in NYC, and gasp! worked at Marvel Comics as a lowly clean-up artist on the pages of the comics I’d devoured only a few years before. 

I even worked on the comic Star Wars adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back, combining two of my interests. 

So what now? 

In the fannish communities of the 1970s and onward, there were many women writing fan lit involving Star WarsBeauty and the Beast, Robin of Sherwood, and many others. Coming out of the dust of the past like ghosts becoming solid again, these women are telling their stories. Writer Jenni Hennig is planning on a collection of memoirs for Geek Elders Speak planned for the fall. There is some urgency here. We’re dying off. 

Finally, I may take up the pencil again. After school, I basically gave up on producing at since in the early 1980s, there were no jobs, especially for women. I went on to get a masters, went into journalism, and closed the sketch book. Is it time to open up again? Stay tuned. 

Thanks for reading! 

Sketch done of Yoda in the 1980s by Tish Wells.


This entry was posted in Comics, History, Journalism, Marvel Cinematic Universe, movies, Star Wars, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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