IDW Publishing; $49.99

From 1979 through 1984, Star Wars could be found in daily and Sunday newspapers, and now The Library of American Comics (LOAC) is repackaging the strip in three hardcover volumes. The first of these features the work of writer-illustrator Russ Manning. In comic books, Manning was best known for his work on Magnus Robot Fighter, while in strips he was best known for a solid run on Tarzan.

As was done in many comic strips, the color Sundays and black-and-white dailies told separate stories initially, but Manning brought the two together within six months. His clean line work, impeccable storytelling, and his understanding of the franchise (which was just one film, a few novels, and the Marvel comic book series when he started) made for memorable comic strips.

When Dark Horse had the Star Wars license, the almost 600 strips in this collection and those that followed were reprinted in comic book form, but this series restores them to the full comic strip formats. Covering March 11, 1979 through October 5, 1980, this collection also includes the usual LOAC essays to put things in context.

This volume – and this whole series – is not to be missed by Star Wars fans, science fiction comic strip enthusiasts, or those who cherish good storytelling.

J.C. Vaughn