Here we have this case of a messy mixed mood that doesn’t necessarily age well. The playful is mixed with the shock imagery. There is even a blurb that mixes the tongue-in-cheek with the depressing.
In a case of form altering function, the title appears on the back cover because the book seemed to work better that way. The idea of spelling out of InterStellar OverDrive in electronic schematics came out of the blue. Except for the associative pun of using planetary gears, as used in vintage overdrives like those found in Studebakers. This first version of the ISOD logo was an instrument drawing on paper, done across several settings, done over a long Sunday in August 1987. This logo has been reworked a few times since, in both solid state and tube versions, sometimes in AutoCAD, and expanded out to a whole alphabet.
You’d think that being clever enough to whimsically spell out a title with non-letters would cheer somebody up. But the Comics world of that era was full of people who would mostly conveniently ignore that, except for dumping on somebody just to hurt him, such as a certain recent comics con. Multiply that times a adopted kid’s exaggerated sense of rejection and the related low self-esteem. Plus multiply again by having that run on a few years too long.
This was actually the third or fourth attempt to draw this shock image over the years. The first was prior to dropping out of college for the first time in 1980. That was a personal trauma that would leave somebody feeling derailed and mangled by overwhelming forces beyond their control. It sent me into a crisis of faith that 20 years of good Disciple of Christ upbringing didn’t survive.
I’m torn between thinking that if I had to do this again I’d wouldn’t wear my angst on my sleeve versus that holding it in to fester wouldn’t be good either.
If I could do this differently, I would take an opportunity that I missed by thinking emotionally instead of strategically. This would have been a perfect place to do a joyous group picture of the main InterStellar OverDrive cast, Wayne Winnie, Didi, Flexia, Elvis, and maybe Wilfred, and maybe some of the funky aliens, even the one-eyed ones. This would be sort of a promise that something good is happening.
There were also the references to Tommy Bolin and Deep Purple. Bolin was a regional kid that went on to join Deep Purple. He also had the standard issue Rock Star young death. His “Post Toastee” was a minor hit that a local AOR station occasionally dusts off to play several times during a week and a half before letting it lapse back into obscurity for another few months. These references are a bit of getting back to my roots, being a ‘70s teen discovering Heavy Metal magazine and Album Orientated Radio prior to being a New Wave/Alt-Rock guy of the ‘80s. As a comfort music step back after being hurt at the Con before I tried to leapfrog into the ‘90s with the regular issues of InterStellar OverDrive.