Dirk Starworthy, We Hardly Knew Ye…


Thirty years ago, more or less, I drew my first true gaming comic.

It was based on the little black books of the Traveller roleplaying game – my perenial favorite. I drew it for a ‘zine based in London, Alien Star.

Alien Star was created by a chap who ran the Minifigs store near…um…Victoria, I seem to remember. No, no, no – not LEGO minifigs, you silly young people. The old lead historical wargames minis maker. It wasn’t the greatest ‘zine the world had ever seen, but it was solid. Remember: those were the days when Judges Guild supplements were awaited with bated breath. If gaming could overlook those production standards, pretty much anything was acceptable.

Super Happy Alien Star Fun Hour

Anyway, I was unpacking some boxes – we’ve been in the new house for two and a half years, now, and still there are BOXES – when I came across the two issues of Alien Star that “Dirk Starworthy of the “I.M.N” appeared in.

No, I don’t remember what “I.M.N.” stands for, anymore. My guess is Imperial Merchant Navy, or somesuch. It didn’t really matter, anyway, as the strip only appeared twice.

It wasn’t a very promising strip – a slight, poorly-drawn thing – and there’s no indication I was doing anything other than making it up as I went along. There’s no plot. I’m not sure there ever would have been a plot. Pern? Why the hell did I have them end up on Pern? But there you go.

If the writing is illegible – look, lettering’s never been my strongpoint – just click on the strip for a larger image.

It would be nice, had this first sample shown some spark of real promise…some indication that its crator could earn a living doing this sort of stuff.

But it didn’t. It was something a kid scribbled down.

However, was a start.

And it’s hard to get worse, once you start.

Super Happy Alien Star Fun Hour

“To be continued!” indeed.

– John


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