Readers have no love for the catsuit, either; First look at Mara in the Essential Reader’s Companion

Not a lot of love for the catsuit round these parts this week. On Tumblr, Molly approached the outfit from a costumer’s perspective, and Ellen Hyde pointed out that it and the Jabba’s dancer outfit are the only Mara costumes recognized by the 501st – while you can get into the Rebel Legion with the green Visions of the Future getup, it’s not that many options. I realize the costuming organizations have to draw the line somewhere, but maybe the 501st will OK the Choices of One version one day?

But I do have a treat for you! Del Rey editor Erich Schoeneweiss has generously shared with us a piece of Mara artwork from Pablo Hidalgo’s Essential Reader’s Companion, which is due out October 2. It’s by Darren Tan and shows Mara’s first encounter with the Yuuzhan Vong in Vector Prime – and no, she’s not in the catsuit. Check it out under the cut.

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EUbits: Mercy Kill in drips and dabbles

Excerpts. It’s easy to miss, but if you head over to the Random House page for X-Wing: Mercy Kill, there are 32 pages from the book available. (Click on the cover.) It includes the dramatis personae that caused such a furor when the ARCs went out as well as the first pages of 22 chapters. Weird, yes? (via)


The blogside. Joysweeper at Scans Daily takes a look at Luke Skywalker’s worst comic outfits. She’s not kidding; there’s a mesh shirt. Oh, Marvel. Also: An interview with costumer Victoria Schmidt; convention tall tales; and a review of Coruscant Nights I: Jedi Twilight.


Upcoming. Rebelscum has covers and summaries for two upcoming comic collections – Dawn Of The Jedi: Force Storm and new Clone Wars omnibus, The Republic Falls – as well as the next arc of Agent Of The Empire.


Awards. Tom Taylor’s Blood Ties has won the The Stan Lee Excelsior Award, which encourages kids to read comics and graphic novels.


Behind the scenes. The Young to Publishing Group has four keys to success in licensed publishing, which features several familiar names.


Endnotes. I’ve run out of things to say about the things, so just let it be known that Jason Fry has posted part 14 and part 15 of his guide to everything Essential Guide to Warfare.

EUbits: Del Rey swags up for convention season

Convention swag. Star Wars Books has revealed some of the summer freebies on their Facebook. There’s a nifty 84-page sample books with excerpts and the Insider short stories, a Mercy Kill iron-on and Scoundrels bookmarks. The catch: There are 7, but they won’t all be available at the same con, so unless you’re going to be at SDCC, CVI and NYCC, prepare to swap with some pals to get them all.

In other relevant con season news, Christie Golden will be at SDCC, and Erich is looking to arrange a Warfare signing with Jason Fry and some of the artists.


The blogside. Skuldren wants a Streen series, while Bry Dean reviews I, Jedi and Tosche Station looks back at The Bacta War.


Gaming stuff. Drew Karpyshyn’s The Old Republic: Annihilation has been blessed by the blurb fairy. (via) There’s also going to be an Old Republic Encyclopedia.


Audiobooks. Speaking of Karpyshyn, his Darth Bane books will be getting the unabridged audiobook treatment. Look for them in October.


Endnotes. Never-ending endnotes! Jason Fry has posted part 13 of his look behind The Essential Guide to Warfare

EUbits: EUC chats with Lucas Books art director; fansites take to the blogside

Interview. EUCantina interviews Lucas Books Art Director Scott Biel about creating covers for Star Wars books. He talks about the process, why the Mercy Kill cover got a makeover, and Mara Jade’s Choices of One jumpsuit.

In other news, EUC is kicking off their Summer Reading for Children’s Literacy program on July 11th. They’re (again) raising money for Reading is Fundamental.


The blogside. Lots going on this week! At The Galactic Drift, Racheal takes a look at how Tahiri Veila has been misused, while NJOE’s new hire Matthew Rushing takes on the state of Luke Skywalker. Meanwhile, Megan at Knights Archive reviews Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, and Tosche Station is taking a look with their X-Wing Retrospective.


Conventions. The Del Rey folks will have a double-sided poster that they’ll be giving out during summer con season. It features the cover art from The Essential Reader’s Companion and The Old Republic: Annihilation. Look for Del Rey at San Diego Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration VI, and New York Comic Con.


eBooks. Knights Archive looks at the upcoming Star Wars eBook releases.


Endnotes. Jason Fry posted the 12th part of the series going behind-the-scenes of The Essential Guide to Warfare.

EUbits: Everybody loves pilots


Spotlight. Essential Guide to Warfare co-author Paul Urquhart takes a look at ‘the best star-pilots in the galaxy’. But what we’re really talking about here is the art by Frank-Joseph “Mazzic” Frelier, which includes what I think is out first look at Syal Antilles.

In other Warfare-related matters, there have been three more installments of endnotes since we last checked in: 9, 10 and 11.


Awards. John Jackson Miller’s Knight Errant is a Scribe Award nominee for Best Original Novel in the Speculative Fiction category. The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers are also naming Expanded Universe alumni Kevin J. Anderson as the year’s Grandmaster. Other familiar names among the nominees include Mike Stackpole (for his Conan the Barbarian adaption) and A.C. Crispin for her Pirates of the Caribbean novel.


Interviews. Lots of them! In the world of podcasts, we have Aaron Allston over at Tosche Station Radio and Mike Stackpole at Star Wars Book Report. If you can stomach the ForceCast, they had Leland Chee on, plus there’s a new Jedi Journals. If it’s text you prefer, Tom Taylor talks Darth Maul at CBR.


Teases. A bounty hunter short story by a new-to-Star Wars author will be gracing the pages of Insider #136. Karen Miller’s Myri Antilles story will be in the next issue, #135.


Now hiring… NJOE, EUCantina and Knights Archive are looking for some dedicated fans to join their respective sites. (Rather limited) internet fame! Glamour! No money! But possibly drinks at CVI!