Friday, May 20, 2016

Retro Foreign: Japanese Weekly Shōnen Magazine #18 - 23 (1978)

The cover to Weekly Shōnen Magazine #18 from 1978 is fairly well known by Star Wars comic collectors.  The covers to Weekly Shōnen Magazine #19 - 23 are not as well know, mostly because they do not feature Star Wars.

Weekly Shōnen Magazine #18a - Kondasha, Japan (April 30, 1978)
Star Wars #1
Weekly Shōnen Magazine #19a - Kondasha, Japan (May 7, 1978)
Star Wars #2
Weekly Shōnen Magazine #20a - Kondasha, Japan (May 14, 1978)
Star Wars #3
Weekly Shōnen Magazine #21a - Kondasha, Japan (May 21, 1978)
Star Wars #4
Weekly Shōnen Magazine #22a - Kondasha, Japan (May 28, 1978)
Star Wars #5
Weekly Shōnen Magazine #23a - Kondasha, Japan (June 4, 1978)
Star Wars #6
Each anthology is very thick with 330 pages, except for issue #22 which has 362 pages.  They are like phone books!  Issue #18 has Star Wars as the lead story, but the remaining issues have the Star Wars pages at the end of the tome.  The Star Wars pages are printed in the same orientation as in the U.S. but the rest of the books have the pages printed in the opposite order.  To picture this, take a comic, flip it to the back, and start looking at the pages starting from the back.  The pages are still read from left to right.  It is not clear why the Star Wars pages are not in the same orientation.  The Marvel Star Wars covers are included along with the interior pages.  The interior pages of these books are mostly black and white.  The lead story has an additional orange color, and some of the stories are purple and white.

Every year, this magazine restarts the numbering with #1 so the year is also used to unique identify the issue.  Impressively this weekly comic magazine has been published since March 17, 1959.  The six issues with Star Wars comics takes up 1/3 of a small comic box, so an entire collection would be an incredible sight to see!

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