Monday, June 13, 2016

Retro Dark Horse: Star Wars: Droids #1 (1994)

Gimmick covers were used to sell comic books starting in the 1980s and flourished in the early 1990s.  Gimmicks included foil embossed, glow-in-the-dark, die cut, hologram, prism, pop-up, lenticular, and chromium covers.  There were two comics with colorform-like characters that would cling to the cover and one comic even had a plastic gem affixed to the cover.  Several comics came in polybags, some of which were colored to prevent the cover from being seen.  This era has been dubbed the Chromium Age of Comics, an unflattering term used to describe this period's excessive reliance on gimmicks to sell comics.  The general feeling is retailers and speculators were buying large quantities of comics for the gimmicks, paying little attention to the interior art and stories.  During the mid 1990s comic sales tumbled, Marvel was forced to file for bankruptcy, and many comic shops were forced to close.

Dark Horse was not immune to the gimmick craze.  In addition to publishing comics for Dynamic Forces, AnotherUniverse.com, and Catch a Star Collectibles which featured gimmicks like foil, foil embossed, and chrome covers, Dark Horse published Star Wars: Droids #1 which features an embossed cover.  Star Wars: Droids (1994) is a 6-issue mini-series.

Star Wars: Droids #1a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (April 1994)
Star Wars: Droids #1 has an attractive embossed cover.  The cover is black except for the images of C-3PO and R2-D2, the logo, and the brand dressing.  The cover is susceptible to scratching if not stored properly.  This comic has a cover price of $2.95 and subsequent issues in the mini-series are priced at $2.50.

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