Monday, 13 September 2010

ANALOG JULY 1975

Cover painting by John Schoenherr.

10 comments:

Staz Johnson said...

I remember seeing this cover somewhere before years ago, & I always wondered if this image had any influence on the look of Chewbacca in the first Star Wars movie. Looking at Ralph McQuarrie's initial sketches which were miles from the final version, it's almost as if George Lucas dropped a copy of this on McQuarrie's desk & said.."I want it like that.."

Jeff said...

I've got a few SF art books that cite this image as 'the' Chewbacca/Wookiee inspiration, but there's nothing official said about it. This mag has a couple of interior illustrations which feature the creatures wielding weapons that look a lot like the Bowcaster that Chewbacca uses in the Star Wars films, I think it's too much of a coincidence to be an accidental likeness.

Staz Johnson said...

Well I'm glad to know I'm not alone in my suspicion....

It reminds me of the story in which it is suggested that the Naboo city from 'Phantom Menace' was ripped off of James Gurney's Dinotopia illustrations, but that he simply wasn't in a position to take on Lucasfilm & make an issue of it, even tho (apparantly) the resemblance is pretty damning.

Egrove said...

John Schoenherr is one of the greats. I understand he might still be painting, - albiet now doing non-commercial/non-illustration nature artworks.

How insane is the quality of the authors and stories Analog had in the 60's and 70's? - loved the Cloak and Staff series.

I used to collect pulps and digests fanatically as a teen, my first ever paycheck was blown on 3 cardboard boxes of old digests, and I was even a Analog subcriber at one point, but it all got so depressing in the 90s. I don't think I've brought a new issue of any SF mag in about 8 years : /
Ed

Michael Heilemann said...

Staz, that's actually exactly what happened:

"George also gave me a drawing he liked from a 1930s illustrator of science fiction that showed a big, apelike, furry beast with a row of female breasts down its chest. So I took the breasts off and added a bandolier and ammunition and weapons, and changed its face so it looked somewhat more like the final character, and I left it at that."

He's referring to a drawing from inside the magazine in fact. I'm writing a little thing for my blog on it, I'll drop a link here when it's up.

Staz Johnson said...

Cool, I'd be interested to read that, Michael.

Anonymous said...

John Schoenherr died earlier this year. Truly one of the best illustrators to every grace the SF field.

/s/ Steverman

Michael Heilemann said...

Here's my post: http://binarybonsai.com/2010/09/18/george-lucas-stole-chewbacca-but-its-okay/

Jeff said...

@ Michael: Thanks for the link! A fascinating read :-)

Staz Johnson said...

I took a look at this earlier, & it was indeed a fascinating read. However, when I tried to take another look at it, it seems that the link has been somehow corrupted, & when a fried tried to look at it on their Mac (as opposed to my PC) they got a strong warning not to open the link. Could it be that George has taken a dislike to having his secrets revealed & got it shut down already?

Conspiracy theorist?... me?