Even though I had done a couple of Droids episodes previously, it wasn't till Ryder Wyndham wrote Droids Rebellion for me, that I really began to enjoy working on the famous duo of R2D2 and C3P0.
I decided to invest in a visit to the States, stopping off in New York to say Hi to DC comics and in the process refresh my contact with Andy Helfer, who had been my editor on the Mr Miracle series. I also stopped in to one of their subsidiary publishers, who were handling the production of Douglas Adams' 'Hitch-hiker's Guide', which they had asked me to illustrate part of - the bit where the action takes place at Lords Cricket ground. Obviously they figured that no American artist would know what any of the references were! ;) And eventually I ended up over in the North West - home of Dark Horse comics, who publish the Star Wars comics. They seemed like an energetic young company, having had success with the Mask, made even more famous by Jim Carey's film version. Though the film of Barb Wire was a bit of a bust!
And there, in Portland Oregon, I stayed with Ryder while I visited the Dark Horse editorial offices and did the 'press the flesh' routine. Which was made much easier because I took along my son. Luke, who was just 9 at the time and cute as a button - a smiling little blonde boy who stole their hearts. ;)
I even managed to spend some time with Cam Kennedy who was living in the area, while he worked on his Boba Fett series and various other Star Wars books. Lovely man. Lovely artist.
And then the bonus of the whole trip was being invited to the Norcon comics convention, where Luke made friends with one of my heroes, Al Williamson. And so I got to meet him too.
This is a detail from one of Ryder's favourite pages.