Friday, October 18, 2013

Review: Thunderbirds The Comic Collection


This came as a nice surprise yesterday, when Egmont sent me a review copy of their massive hardback Thunderbirds: The Comic Collection. This heavy 288 page book carrying Egmont's Classic Comics imprint reprints the Thunderbirds serial strips that were drawn by Frank Bellamy from September 1967 to July 1969 for their original publication in TV21. There's also a serial by John Cooper from 1970, and four Lady Penelope stories from the sixties by Eric Eden, again from TV21. As a bonus, there are superb cutaways and features illustrated by Graham Bleathman that were first published in Thunderbirds The Comic around 1991.


The book is printed on good glossy stock, which serves the reproduction well. It looks like the pages are shot from the same sources used for Thunderbirds the Comic in the nineties. So although the quality isn't quite as good as the original TV21 comics (or indeed the original artwork), it's still very good indeed and only close comparison with the 1960s comics would show any difference. Bellamy's artwork still looks great, as can be seen from the photographs here that I took of the book.



The Thunderbirds strip by John Cooper is one that Egmont had coloured in the 1990s (its original appearance in TV21 was in black and white). The colours aren't a patch on Bellamy's work but they don't distract from the story. 


The three Lady Penelope serials are her very first adventure, Mr.Steelman, from January - April 1965, The Isle of Aaran Riddle from Sept - Nov 1965, and her last TV21 story, The Vanishing Ray, from Nov 1965 to January 1966. There's also a bonus four page story from the 1965 TV21 Summer Extra.


Hardcore fans of Gerry Anderson's creations will probably already have most of these strips, either in TV21, Thunderbirds The Comic, or the more recent Century 21 books. However, for the completest, or new fans, or people who threw out their old comics, or people interested in British comics in general, this book would serve as an excellent way to obtain a good proportion of classic strips in one package. It'd also make a brilliant Christmas present for introducing a new generation to the delights of such quality material. 


Egmont have also released a set of postcards in a sturdy, illustrated collectors box. Entitled Thunderbirds: 100 F.A.B. Postcards these 100 well reproduced cards feature scenes from various Thunderbirds episodes and also include the title sequence, countdown, title frames, and all. Again, an ideal Christmas present, or just a good treat for any fan of the series. 



Thunderbirds: The Comic Collection 
Price: £25.00
Published by Egmont, October 2013
ISBN: 978 1 4052 6836 3 

Thunderbirds: 100 F.A.B. Postcards
Price: £14.99
Published by Egmont, October 2013
ISBN: 978 1 6893 6


11 comments:

TwoHeadedBoy said...

Wow, didn't know this existed!

Got a stack of around sixty of the Thunderbirds comics from the 1990s here, which I was keeping mainly for the cutaway sections - this book might serve as an adequate replacement, perhaps.

Lew Stringer said...

It's only just been published so I'm not sure if Waterstones or WH Smith have it yet, but it's definitely in Forbidden Planet (for £20) as I saw a copy there last week.

There are several cutaways in the book: the five Thunderbird craft of course, plus FAB 1, Tracy Island, and Lady Penelope's stately home.

Ian Ellery said...

It's a lot cheaper on Amazon Lew!

Phil Boyce said...

I came to the Thunderbirds party in the 90s, I can remember fondly my mum, dad & I watching them together over dinner every Friday night after Randall & Hopkirk repeats. I collected the comic for a couple of years and always thought the cutaways were reprints too, but great to know they were actually brand new. I loved that comic, so may indeed look into purchasing this... or hinting for Christmas!

Phil Boyce said...

I came to the Thunderbirds party in the 90s, I can remember fondly my mum, dad & I watching them together over dinner every Friday night after Randall & Hopkirk repeats. I collected the comic for a couple of years and always thought the cutaways were reprints too, but great to know they were actually brand new. I loved that comic, so may indeed look into purchasing this... or hinting for Christmas!

TwoHeadedBoy said...

Hmm, reckon I'll be keeping my comics then - after using up all the "main" stuff it carried on and offered cutaways of the more "obscure" things, like the Sidewinder, the Crablogger and the Mole.

Still looks like a nice book though.

Ian Edginton said...

It's currently £16.25 on Amazon. I have most of what's in it already but it looks so lovely and is so damn tempting!

Peter Gray said...

egmont has also sent me a copy and postcards like you say very kind of them....I'vejust got a new computer and now can't remeber the password to get into blogger to do my review...doh!

Lew Stringer said...

Click on 'forgot my password' and they'll send you the method to set a new one.

Peter Gray said...

Thanks Lew I've finally got it back...your advice was very good...now to try and get my youtube password back...

Peter Gray said...

Thanks Lew just got to work out my youtube channel password next..

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