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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Review: Inside the Worlds of Gerry Anderson

I've known the artist Graham Bleathman since the late 1970s, when we were both doing our individual fanzines. Mine was After Image, and his was The Magazine of Tomorrow. Over the years we've focused on our particular careers, mine in humour comics, and Graham excelling at the art of the cutaway for various publications as well as illustrating numerous covers for The People's Friend
Back in the 1990s, Graham provided many double page cutaway paintings for Fleetway's Thunderbirds the Comic, and now Egmont have gathered them into a spectacular hardback collection, Inside the Worlds of Gerry Anderson.
Fortunately Graham still had a lot of the artwork, so the book could be shot from his original boards and the reproduction is excellent. The 128 pages cover the vehicles and locations seen from Fireball XL5 to Joe 90, including superb cutaways of all the Thunderbirds craft, Tracy Island, Cloudbase, Marineville Control Tower, and many more.
The cutaways proved so popular that they went beyond what we saw on TV, and included places and vehicles only seen in the TV21 comic strips, such as Katannia, Capital of Bereznik, the Eastern Block country used as the villains in the strips. We also get to see the inside of a Bereznik Battle Tank! 

Graham based his cutaways on what we know from the TV shows, but of course the level of detail meant that he also had to go further than that, creating mechanics and interiors never seen in the shows or comics. It's all good fun, and the fantastic artwork is worth poring over for hours. 
Inside the Worlds of Gerry Anderson is published by Egmont on November 6th 2014 as part of their Classic Comics range. R.R.P. £17.99. ISBN 978-1-4052-7265-0

A related book, The Gerry Anderson Comic Collection, is also available, which I've reviewed here:


TwoHeadedBoy said...

Definitely one for the Xmas list, I love cutaways of all varieties (blame Richard Scarry for that).

About a decade ago, Dorling Kindersly put out a big hardback book of Gerry Anderson cutaways, by another artist. Two, really. The first one was all Thunderbirds, the next one added Stingray, Joe 90 and Fireball XL5 vehicles. All fantastic and good.

But this one, yes - we used to get the various Gerry Anderson comics that were available in the 90s, and those cutaways were all over the bedroom walls. It's a definite purchase, is what I'm saying.

Lew Stringer said...

I don't recall the DK books, but I know Graham Bleathman also illustrated the FAB Cross Sections books for Carlton, and the Haynes Thunderbirds manual.

If you collected those cutaways in the 1990s you'll definitely enjoy this book as the reproduction is even better. Graham tells me that about 12 are scanned from the comics but the remaining ones are from his original artwork. All of them look great.

locusmortiis said...

Spotted this on Amazon a while ago, thanks for the reminder, must start the christmas shopping soon

TwoHeadedBoy said...

My mistake - they ARE Carlton books. DK did the Star Wars ones, whoops. That'd explain why the interior layouts of the various Thunderbird craft are so similar across the books and the comics.

Lew Stringer said...

That'd also explain why I couldn't find anything when I Googled for DK Thunderbirds cutaways! :)

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