Wednesday, June 06, 2018

THE GENERALIST ARCHIVE GOES PUBLIC

This is a special era for THE GENERALIST ARCHIVE as, for the first time, items from it have gone on show in Brighton and will be on show in London. This is a great step forward for drawing attention to what has been judged by professional archivists and librarians from several universities as being a valuable and important collection. A website for the archive has now gone live at www.generalistarchive.co.uk


 This week-long pop-up museum was created for the Brighton Festival Fringe by Jolie Booth of Kriya Arts and Lucy Malone and was built at The Spire, a former church now a community centre, at the far end of Kemptown.
Full details can be found on their website.

The items lent from the Archive were a mixture of badges, original handouts, prints, photos and underground papers - some original documents, others prints. They were very well displayed and the whole exhibition was a professional job done on limited funds and time.

Last Saturday I took part in a panel discussion with others who had contributed to the project, talking about the Archive and the counterculture of the 60s/70s on the South Coast.



This week a documentary is being shot of the Archive of which more news anon.

This coincides with the launch of a major show at Somerset House in London called PRINT! Tearing It Up. celebrating the wave of new hip magazines being produced in recent years but also showcasing something of the history of alternative magazines and papers.

The curator Paul Gorman chose 200 items from the Generalist Archive which have been loaned for the show. Not sure at present how many will make the final cut. The show is free and runs from 8th June to 22nd August. Full details here:


I am also to be profiled on the Magculture web site, online this Friday, in the Journal section where you are asked to choose favourite mags now, favourites from the past and thirdly some mag detail that is important to you.  An example here:

Friday, June 01, 2018

MY ADVENTURES IN THE WORLD OF STAR WARS

Published by McFarland & Co.
Back in 1979, I made two trips to Hollywood to get material for Star Wars Monthly, which I was one of the main contributors to. I was also commissioned to produce a 64pp newstand special on the second film in the trilogy (and I think the best) The Empire Strikes Back. A detailed story of my adventures can be read in a Previous Post: 'Star Wars: Memories of a Galaxy Far, Far Away'.

Some years back I was contacted by Craig Stevens who explained to me his plan for a special book documenting the world of Star Wars in Britain - much of the film was shot at Elstree Studios and a number of Brits were involved in the production.

Craig's other great interest is Star Wars merchandise of which he a pre-eminent collector and I believe he holds the  record for the highest price paid for a Star Wars figure.




JM and R2D2 on the set of the
Bog Planet at Elstree Studios 1979
This labour of love has now been published in the UK and the US. It is the most thorough and detailed account available and will be welcomed by Star Wars fans as a valuable reference source.

Craig interviewed me for the book in which he quotes me extensively and reviews every issue of Star Wars Monthly which are now collector's items. He also credits me for small but important detail of Chewbacca's life. He writes that:
 'John May tacked the subject of Chewbacca, of whom nothing was known except that he was 200 years old...His imagination firing on all cylinders, May put forward the idea of Chewbacca owing his life to Han Solo, explaining why he was following the smuggler through the galaxy. This concept became entrenched in Star Wars literature, with Chewbacca described as having a life debt to Han. Although Chewbacca did not receive a medal at the end of Star Wars, May asserted that the Wookiee was indeed presented with one by Priness Leia before he and Han left the rebel base to pursue their adventures...It may be a coincidence but the Marvel Star Wars story "The Day After the Death Star" would go on to depict Chewbacca receiving his medal at the rebel base from Prtincess Leia, who was standing on a table.'