Out now from Prion Books is a chunky 656 page softback, Rick Random Space Detective, reprinting ten issues of the classic 1950s comic digest Super Detective Library.
Edited by, and with an introduction from, comics expert Steve Holland, the book features the work of artist Ron Turner throughout. This is wonderful work, showcasing Turner's imaginative view of the future with his smooth distinctive linework. Turner's work is easy on the eye, clearly illustrated, and his artistic skills show him to be a master of black and white work. (He would later prove to be just as skilled in colour work too of course, as his Daleks strips would prove ten years later.)
The stories are more sophisticated than the fare that was appearing in Fleetway's weekly comics of the same period. At 64 pages per story, and thankfully no modern "decompressed" pacing, there's a lot of meat on the bones.
I only have two criticisms. One is a minor point, that the stories don't carry specific dates. We're told they're from the mid to late Fifties, but nothing more accurate than that. The other criticism is that some pages haven't reproduced as well as expected. This is because the source material is the comics themselves, as sadly all the original art has been sold / stolen / destroyed / lost over the years. This means that, unavoidably, some of the finer detail has "dropped out" on a few pages. However, I must emphasize that overall the reproduction is very good and better than some of the repro work in the War Picture Library collection last year. In short, this is a fine collection of one of the best British comic strips to add to your bookshelves.
RRP is £14.95 but it is currently much cheaper from Amazon.