We are saddened to report that John Kellerman, author of the seminal collecting book, "Vintage Star Wars Action Figures" has passed away after a brief battle with Leukemia. John was a true legend in the hobby having started collecting in the late 80s and going on to build an incredible vintage collection of production items and prototypes. His original Leia focus collection, one of the first of its kind, was highly influential for many focus collectors over the years. John was always keen to share knowledge and help other collectors and in 2003 he took that to a new level with the publication of his book, "Vintage Star Wars Action Figures," a ground-breaking publication in numerous ways. Not only did the book catalogue all of the known front/back card combinations of Kenner's vintage line, it was also the first high-quality, self-published collecting book of it's kind which went on to inspire a long line of authors to self-publish high-quality, niche collecting books of their own - myself included.
In 2005 I had an idea to self-publish a coffee table book on Star Wars tattoos, based on a popular website I had at the time that was dedicated to showcasing Star Wars and other geeky tattoos. John essentially took my hand and guided me through the process, helping me to avoid some of the expensive pitfalls he made and even going so far as to set up a meeting with the printer, Palace Press, in San Rafael and joining me for our talk. I've never forgotten that kindness and have always tried to pass on the same help that John offered to me, whether it's through writing and publishing or through my work as a photographer.
Though he hasn't been active in the hobby over the last few years, John's legacy continues to live on through his book and his updated front/back matrices that still serve collectors to this day. For many, that is how John will always be remembered. The hobby has lost a true giant. But for those of us lucky to know him, we have lost a true friend who will be missed for his kindness, generosity and those long talks on the phone. Our condolences to his wife Annabel, his children, family and friends.