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Supersnipe Comic Art Emporium

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Lucas was a silent partner of the Supersnipe Comic Art Emporium in 1977 (source: Rolling Stone interview, 1977). But when did he get into it, and when did he get out of it? I can't seem to find any information on it anywhere.

Kitbashed
Essays, videos and thoughts on the inspiration behind Star Wars.

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Yeah I saw that one.

There's surprisingly little information about that place, and as far as I can tell, no photos of it.

Kitbashed
Essays, videos and thoughts on the inspiration behind Star Wars.

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from the comments of:

http://www.whenmonkeysattack.com/blog/2009/08/16/the-big-tent-was-pitched-long-ago/

  1. Horatio Weisfeld Says:
    08/17/09 at 2:08 pm

    If memory serves me:

    In the mid-late 70s, Supersnipe’s art gallery (whatever they called it) was a block or two west of Supersnipe comic store (mid-eighties/east side/Manhattan). The art gallery was small, and the one thing I remember was that they had the Frazetta painting (The Red Knight?) with the guy on his horse, pointing his sword down at the viewer, and I had never seen a Frazetta original, so this blew my kid mind (I still remember that they were asking $5,000 for it). It was common knowledge that Lucas (Who I think was in school with Supersnipe owner Ed Summer) was an investor in the place, as the people who ran the joint would talk about it (Summer is listed as associate producer on the first Conan movie). Later, they moved the gallery a block or two east, around the corner from the Supersnipe comic store (at which point the gallery had the FF Blazing Combat painting with the cigar chomping American sticking his bayonet through the Kraut). At some point I heard that the place got robbed – then shut down.

So it sounds like GL didn't get out of it.

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you've probably seen this as well, but to have all the bits in one location:

http://boards.collectors-society.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=4412362

Re: Supersnipe Comic Art Gallery [Re: Nexus]
artdealer Offline
Collectosaurus Rex


Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 528
I lived across the street from Supersnipe from early 1976 through Dec. 1979.

First there was the comic book store, which had no room for comic art. The gallery opened around the corner, on 84th street somewhere around 1977 or 78. There was mostly comic art, but nothing Star Wars related, except for a show of McQuarrie and Johnson. There might have been some illustration art, but the focus was on comic art.

There was no art from the comic book as I was Chaykin's art dealer and I sold the pages. The Star Wars poster art was sold through Steranko/Parente catalog in 1977.

Lucas was a VERY silent partner. Ed was never at the gallery. He mostly ran the comic book store. Simon Deitch ran the gallery (brother of Kim Deitch, underground artist). I was there almost every day of the week.

I saw Ed last about 2 years ago at the San Diego Con.

Mitch I.
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 (Edited)

New York Times - Dec 10, 1978

http://74.125.157.99/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=supersnipe%20comic%20emporium&source=newssearch&cd=1&ved=0CCcQqQIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fselect.nytimes.com%2Fgst%2Fabstract.html%3Fres%3DF40A11FF3F5511728DDDA90994DA415B888BF1D3&ctbm=nws&ctbs=cdr%3A1%2Ccd_min%3A1%2F1%2F1970%2Ccd_max%3A1%2F1%2F1980&ei=1vIlT_-WFdOctweFzMyKDg&usg=AFQjCNGto8OKajOT4Kx-BArhy-Pc4Kqu_g&cad=rja

Superman went on to earn his own comic book. ... just changed hands for a1,000," says Ed Sumner, proprietor of the Manhattan comic book emporium Supersnipe, ...

the rest of the article is behind a paywall.

 

 

*EDIT*

New York Times - Jan 1, 1973

http://74.125.157.99/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=supersnipe&source=newssearch&cd=2&sqi=2&ved=0CCsQqQIwAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fselect.nytimes.com%2Fgst%2Fabstract.html%3Fres%3DF10B12F73F551A7493C3A9178AD85F478785F9&ctbm=nws&ctbs=cdr%3A1%2Ccd_min%3A1%2F1%2F1970%2Ccd_max%3A1%2F1%2F1980&ei=pfMlT5ODIsiTtweV3tSUDg&usg=AFQjCNFzl-M1Z7VHMCgjM41L08VcN-_doA&cad=rja

Summer is owner of The Mr. Summer continues: Supersnipe Comic Art Empo- This is a good time to deal rium, which for the past four in current books too ...

 

 

can read this one:

The Miami News - Jan 3rd, 1973

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=iMYlAAAAIBAJ&sjid=JfMFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2925,1038072&dq=comic+art+emporium&hl=en

The bulk of the comic book market is made via mail order, bu in most big cities you can buy over-the-counter from a shopkeeper.  One such man is Edward Summer, a bearded, ponytailed 26-year-old filmmaker who got into the business because, he says, "filmmaking is a very tight field."  Summer is owner of The Supersnipe Comic Art Emporium which for the last four moths has been at 246 East 83rd St., but isin the process of moving around the corner to 1615-17 Second Ave.

Mapquest's got 1615-17 Second Ave at 84th street.

 

same article (more or less) this time Anchorage:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Y8shAAAAIBAJ&sjid=SZ4FAAAAIBAJ&pg=1076,748115&dq=edward-summer+comic&hl=en

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Great stuff! Thanks!

Still wish I could figure out exactly when Lucas came onboard. Probably after Graffiti...

Kitbashed
Essays, videos and thoughts on the inspiration behind Star Wars.

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The artdealer who went to Supersnipe often is named Mitch Itkowitz and he runs an art/illustration store called graphiccollectibles.com

 

http://comicscomicsmag.com/2010/09/who-thinks-this.html

Thread on the connections between Jack Kirby books from the 60s & 70s (people mention 'The Fourth World' and 'Black Panther') and SW.  [there's a large user post on the connections.]  but here's the relevant Supersnipe info:

The Ronin Ro book Tales To Astonish contains several pages on the Lucas/Kirby connection. It first points out that at the time of Kirby’s 70′s Black Panther there were people who thought it was old fashioned or worse. The book then points out some of the close similarities in the basic premise of Jack’s Black Panther book and the Indiana Jones character which appeared a few years later. Boiled down this would be a hero who engages in adventures generated by a search for archaeological treasures.
The book also describes a dinner between Ed Summer owner of Supersnipe, his silent partner at Supersnipe George Lucas, and Roy Thomas. Lucas tried to pitch the idea of a Marvel comic book based on Star Wars (remember the comic book preceded the movie) without success to Thomas. Thomas is quoted as saying he wasn’t interested in Star Wars, but came away from the dinner believing that Lucas had been reading Kirby comics, “I don’t know if George Lucas ever quite admitted it, but I got the impression that there was a little influence there.”
The book then moves on to quote Mike Thibodeaux recalling Jack’s own feelings that a number of things had been borrowed ( Moonrider/Skywalker, Older mentor:Himon/Obi-Wan Ken-obi, Dark Side/Darkseid, Light saber/Mega-Rods, and quite a few more.) Kirby is quoted as saying he didn’t think the resemblances were great enough that he felt he was owed anything other than an acknowledgment from Lucas.

Here is that Ronin Ro (Marc Flores) book's 'Star Wars' sections:

http://books.google.com/books?id=CFhbqswztWkC&pg=PA220&dq=The+Ronin+Ro+book+Tales+To+Astonish+%22george+lucas%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=begmT-e-ItCUtweduoSiCw&ved=0CD0Q6AEwAA#v=snippet&q=%22star%20wars%22&f=false

 

More on the Kirby Lucas debate:

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/dailycomicsfix/news/?a=27649

I especially enjoyed the part where Jack Kirby and George Lucas have dinner and Jack tells George about a new story he’s working on, the New Gods. He tells George about Mark Moonrider, the “religious presence” known as The Source, his Dark Father, children separated from fathers at birth and the clash between good and evil etc….the book provides many many more details on this. This lunch took place in 1971/1972…..5-6 years before Star Wars was released. I’m not trying to suggest Lucas ripped off Kirby’s idea but there is no doubt Kirby influenced his epic story heavily.

 

 

People magazine - 1977.07.18

http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20068340,00.html

"I'm an introvert. I don't want to be famous," explains Lucas. "I get nervous when people recognize me and say, 'I loved your movie.' " So George drives a 1967 Camaro, and his only indulgence is a co-interest in a modish Manhattan comic-book store, Supersnipe.

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 (Edited)

Here's a couple more people remembering the store:

http://www.comicon.com/ubb/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=520251

It was small, maybe 10 feet by 15 feet (real estate in Manhattan costs an arm and a leg), but crammed floor to ceiling with comics.

When you'd walk in, all the new comics were on the right hand side of the wall, graphic novels/reprint books were on the left hand side in a big bookcase, and the classic, old 1960s Marvel pin-ups lined the wall up near the ceiling. Back issues were in boxes behind the counter; If you wanted something, you had to ask. You couldn't root through bins, because there simply wasn't any room for them!

*OMIT*

I believe that in addition to Lucas being a partial owner Mark Hamil was involved financially as well.

 

http://boards.collectors-society.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=3388413

Some of the art on display there were George's "Flash Gordon" originals.. during the 80s-early 90s, Russ Cochran was George's auction buyer and bid on comic strips and cartoon cels for him. This was at the same time Russ was buying cels for Jacko

 

*EDIT*

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:9_ErAwqmS60J:jimchadwick.blogspot.com/2007/05/it-was-30-years-ago-today.html+supersnipe+%22george+lucas%22&cd=64&hl=en&ct=clnk&client=firefox-a

But Ed was always promoting this Star Wars thing in his shop, well in advance of the movie’s release. There was an early poster, one with Darth Vader’s head being the most prominent element and done in advance of the now more famous one of Luke with the upraised light saber. He had copies of the novelization of the film well displayed. And of course when the Marvel Comics adaptation was released, that got sufficient promotional space in the shop.

which lead to this article, also offline:

http://web.archive.org/web/20070510031924/http://www.newsarama.com/TwoMorrows/AlterEgo/68/STarWars.html

In addition, I e-mailed my old friend Ed Summer, who was instrumental in the Star Wars comic existing in the first place; he hoped to write something for this issue, but we hadn't received anything by deadline; we plan to run his commentary at a future date.

This is the article which tells the story of Roy Thomas' dinner with Ed and George and later meeting with Lippencott to get the SW comic done.

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The Kirby connection is one of the things I'm researching; it's interesting, but it isn't as obvious as some people would like to make it out. Nonetheless, there definitely seems to be something there.

This is great stuff, thanks for finding it!

Kitbashed
Essays, videos and thoughts on the inspiration behind Star Wars.

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^ Generally, i've found the comic community is more forgiving on reuse.  And they openly acknowledge it. (TMNT's connection to Daredevil for example)  As many artists don't just work from zero, they take a picture of someone and that becomes the partial guide for a drawings.  And parody has been one of the mediums staples.  there's very limited stigma.

added a few things to the above post, an article chain about the Supersnipe connection and the meetings which lead to the SW Marvel comic.

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There was an article on starwars.com about the comic book, but it disappeared in one of the thoughtless redesigns. I'll see if I can find it again when I got a few minutes.

Kitbashed
Essays, videos and thoughts on the inspiration behind Star Wars.

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I see that two Lucas biographies differ on when the Supersnipe investment happened.

http://books.google.com/books?id=M6OKPBLep0gC&q=%22george+lucas%22+supersnipe&dq=%22george+lucas%22+supersnipe&hl=en&sa=X&ei=9vwmT9j_GoyCtgenzZEl&ved=0CEkQ6AEwAw

Empire Building pg.51 [talking about the aftermath of Graffiti]

Lucas indulged himself by buying a stake in a comic-book store, called Supernipe, in New York.  Otherwise he remained the son of George Lucas Sr.

http://books.google.com/books?id=G4A5djW95UsC&q=%22george+lucas%22+supersnipe&dq=%22george+lucas%22+supersnipe&hl=en&sa=X&ei=9vwmT9j_GoyCtgenzZEl&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAA

Skywalking pg. 193

Lucas allowed himself a few guilty pleasure: he invested in Supersnipe, a Manhattan gallery that specialezed in original comic strip art, and bought a Ferrari sports car.  It was, of course, a used Ferrari.

 

http://books.google.com/books?id=h5IYAAAAIAAJ&q=%22george+lucas%22+supersnipe&dq=%22george+lucas%22+supersnipe&hl=en&sa=X&ei=9vwmT9j_GoyCtgenzZEl&ved=0CE4Q6AEwBA

H.W. Wilson Company - 1978 - Snippet view  [pg 260]
In addition, Lucas has invested in Super-snipe, a Manhattan art gallery specializing in comic book art. ... he admires in Lucas his singlemindedness, his perfectionism, his sensibility, and his "gift for popular narrative." George Lucas ...

 

The person to track down is this Simon Dietrich, who did the day to day operations.  Not finding much substance, could ask http://www.fantagraphics.com/ as some of his work goes thru them, or contact the brother who seems to have a bigger following, and might be more public.

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Differ how? Skywalking doesn't seem to indicate a year. In either case, I'd trust Skywalking.

Kitbashed
Essays, videos and thoughts on the inspiration behind Star Wars.

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^ In Empire Building the chapter context is post-Graffiti, while in Skywalking they are talking about how he spent the SW income.  But both are vague and this Supersnipe venture is a drop in.

Everyone alludes to this being a silent partner thing, but articles in People magazine from 1977 show that's not the case.  If GL was entrenched in the store in 77, then i'd lean more towards this being a post-Graffiti investment, which was your original thought.

 

 

The Rolling Stone article:

http://starwarz.multiply.com/journal/item/10/1977_Rolling_Stone_George_Lucas_Interview

It will be interesting to see how Star Wars does overseas.

Yeah. Star Wars is designed with the international market in mind. The French are very much into this genre. They understand it more than Americans do, and it is the same with the Japanese. I own a comic gallery, an art gallery in New York that sells comic art and stuff; the guy that runs the art gallery also runs a comic store and we do a lot of business in France. They understand Alex Raymond, they understand that he was a great artist, they understand Hal Foster and they understand comic art as real art and as a sort of interesting, goofy thing. And I am very much into comic art, and its place in society as a real art, because it is something that expresses the culture as strongly as any other art.

 

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 (Edited)

none said:

J.W. Rinzler wrote a blog post about Supersnipe:

http://starwarsblog.starwars.com/index.php/2013/02/21/george-lucas-and-comic-books-an-early-link/#more-20365

That was less of an article and more of an advertisement for star wars insider magazine.  Really disappointing.

 

Would like to read the whole ED Summer/Lucas story however i won't subscribe to lame insider for it. 

Sure someone else will read the whole thing and can tell about it here.

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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So I actually contacted Edward Summer last year and have met with him and interviewed him over a period of nearly a year. Unfortunately Rinzler printed some of my favorite bits (the sitting on the floor and reading the original Flash Gordon drawings was given a pretty flat delivery for a story as awesome as it is).

I've got the interviews on tape, and will write a big piece at some point when I can find time. For now I've started publishing my Kitbashed project, of which it is a part, at http://kitbashed.com.

Kitbashed
Essays, videos and thoughts on the inspiration behind Star Wars.