Welcome to Auction #235
Hake’s now spans seven decades, and in that lengthy amount of time, one would think we have seen and offered it all. That would be incorrect! Each auction we have “first we’ve seen” items and newly discovered artifacts long thought lost forever. Every auction cycle we channel our inner Indiana Jones in hopes of unearthing amazing relics for our ardent collectors.
Gracing the cover of the catalog is just such an offering: the original art to a Star Wars newspaper strip proposal, dynamically rendered by the iconic Al Williamson. Scene by scene adaptations on the six original art comic strips in this auction are nothing short of spectacular. They were created in 1978 but ultimately the deal fell through, and this initial proposal was scrapped. When the Star Wars strip was finally greenlit in 1979, it was with a different artist and concept. Williamson would eventually return to the strip in 1981 through its conclusion in 1984.
How did these treasures find their way to us? Directly from the estate of Charles Lippincott. Those in the Star Wars know are very familiar with this man. For those that are not, here is why he is such an important figure in the annals of Star Wars: the way Star Wars was marketed and merchandized before, during, and after the film’s release had a profound impact on how future films would be promoted. Lippincott, who served as advertising/publicity supervisor on Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope, was the man behind the marketing.
The way Lippincott marketed Star Wars became the blueprint goal for how to publicize movies to have audiences both familiar and filled with anticipation before the premiere. His savvy work in securing the copyright to Star Wars helped pave the way for many creative people who brought the film to life off-screen. Licensees such as Marvel Comics and Kenner took Star Wars to a stratospheric level as their comic books and toys flew off the racks and shelves. His work before and after the movie was released made Charles Lippincott an integral part of Star Wars forevermore.
That brings us back to the strip art in this auction. Not only is it early and historic, but Al Williamson Star Wars original strip art is also highly coveted as it virtually never comes up for sale, let alone art of this magnitude. For this auction we have entered the secret chamber in a galaxy far, far away and come out with pop culture and Americana riches. Yes, I’m mixing film metaphors here, but all roads in this case lead back to Lucas!
P.S. Thanks to Amanda Sheriff from Gemstone Publishing for use of her wonderful article on Lippincott in the book “The Overstreet Price Guide To Star Wars Collectibles,” available at gemstonepub.com