Otis Frampton loves drawing Jawas.
The creative mind behind the quirky and clever creator-owned Image Comics series, Oddly Normal, and artist on the animated web series How It Should Have Ended, began drawing these crafty scavengers last year, as part of Jake Parker’s “Inktober.” He has since drawn hundreds of pieces with them.
Recently these favorite subjects have found their way onto the covers of their own Marvel Comics series…Star Wars Jawa Adventures, written and illustrated by Frampton himself, and spanning the entire Star Wars spectrum with characters from A New Hope to Rogue One!
When does this tempting series hit the comic shelves? Well, hopefully, some day if Frampton and many of his fans get their wish.
These covers are actually incredibly well done and believable mockups created by Frampton as part of his open pitch to the powers that be, at Marvel and Disney to help this series become a reality.
All of these examples of Frampton fan art were created from warm-up pieces he had done since the beginning of the new year. It was in mid-February he got the idea of using some of them to try and pitch the series by way of a viral social media campaign.
He released his “pitch” on his website, and started sharing these ideas via Twitter. He said in his online pitch, Jawa Adventures would be “an anthology series featuring a variety of characters and stories all centered around Jawas.”
Once he started turning the old images into new covers, he said he just couldn’t stop.
“I ended up doing 40 or them in one night and got the ball rolling online the next day,” Frampton said. “Some of the images were easy to plug into the comic cover template I created. Others required some artistic ‘’surgery,’ which was actually a lot of fun.”
The covers include a range of scenarios such as special appearances of other major players in the Star Wars saga, to parodies of other movies, to seasonal themes.
“For the K2-SO cover, I actually used the background from another Jawa piece and plugged the characters into it, so it looked like they were standing near a sand crawler,” he said. “The Christmas tree image was actually just my holiday card from 2016!”
Frampton isn’t the only one who loves Jawas, as fan response on social media has been extremely supportive. Although Jawas have been around since the Star Wars universe first hit the big screen in 1997 with Episode IV: A New Hope, they are still favorite characters for fans of all ages.
Frampton said one reason for this “they can be put into any situation and it just works,” similar to the Minions of the Despicable Me movies.
“Comedy, drama, action… they’re like faceless avatars that can be plugged into all kinds of stories,” he said. “And despite having no face, I’ve found that I can get great expressions just using the eyes and body language. It’s been a great cartooning challenge, and that’s one reason that I’ve been drawing them.”
He said he is still amazed that the ideas keep coming to him.
“The versatility of Jawas makes it possible to show them in so many different situations and have it work,” Frampton noted. “I think that speaks to how much potential there is for a Jawa comic book series.”
Frampton said one of the reasons he wants to create a series like Jawas Adventures is to bring a much-needed lighter, sillier side to the Marvel Star Wars comics library. However, it will still have an edgier vibe, suitable primarily for teens and adults. This, he said, will be aimed at a different demographic than his all-ages series, Oddly Normal.
“I intentionally made the comic Rated T (for “teen”) on the mock-up covers I created so that any resulting series would have the leeway to tell many different kinds of stories,” he explained. “The Jawas lend themselves to a lighthearted take, but there is room for action and drama, too. I’d want to be able to tell stories like the Tag and Bink series from the Dark Horse Comics Star Wars line, but also be able to show a serious side to the species.”
So far, Frampton has created more than 40 mock up covers for his adventures, and all which strive to tell a story with one image. Even though he has recently been working on sample comic pages, he said he still hasn’t really gotten into other details like creating specific characters.
“It’s been a lot of fun and a real challenge to try to show individuality from Jawas who all dress the same and have no face,” he said of giving these characters their time in the spotlight. “One of my favorite images shows eight Jawas stealing the Millennium Falcon. Giving them all different attitudes really shows how much potential there is for stories about them.”
Looking at his covers mock-ups, Star Wars fans can already get sense of story from the expression and detail Frampton put into his work, as well as via their own imagination.
As much as Frampton would love to begin seeing these adventures become a reality, he said he can’t just go out and make a book or comic of his own using the an established character now owned by the powerhouse Disney. His goal is for this idea to resonate strong enough with readers and Star Wars fans Marvel takes a closer look and hires Frampton to get this sand crawler rolling.
“Well, at the very least I’d like to use this to get on their radar and maybe get to do a variant cover for one of their Star Wars comics,” he confessed. “But anything is possible, and I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing because I’m having a ball drawing Jawas and people really seem to like them.”
“Tell them you’d like to see Jawa Adventures become a reality,” he said. “I’d be very grateful for any help I can get plugging the idea.”