Monday, March 23, 2015

Here comes Spaceship Away No.35

Part 35 of Spaceship Away thudded through my letterbox this morning and it's a cracking issue to herald the 65th anniversary of Dan Dare. The excellent cover is by veteran Dan Dare artist Don Harley and he's also painted a fantastic centrespread featuring Colonel Dare and crew, plus an exclusive back cover of Chaplain Dan Dare, based on the original concept of the character as a vicar in space!

Inside this 40 page full colour issue there are two brand new Dan Dare strips by Tim Booth featuring the latest chapters of Parsecular Tales and Mercury Revenant. I'm pleased to see that Tim is now using a better lettering font than Comic Sans. This new font suits his work far better. 

Other strips in this issue include the start of the 1950s Jet Morgan serial The World Next Door drawn by Terence Patrick and a Ron Turner Nick Hazard story Planet of Doom, coloured by Martin Baines. 

It's good to see two humour strips joining the comic too, with Ray Aspden's new Thunderpants page and an uncredited Davy Rocket strip. I think Davy Rocket is a 1950s reprint but there's no information in the mag.

There are some great articles in this issue too. Alan Vince has written a six page feature on the artist Harold Johns, very well illustrated with examples of his work. Andrew Darlington looks back on 1969's Lion and Eagle merger and how it affected the Dan Dare reprints, and Jeremy Briggs writes about The Lost Eagle, the proposed 1973 revival of the comic that never reached fruition. There's the cover by Frank Bellamy of the dummy issue below but you'll see it full page size in Spaceship Away.

All in all it's a splendid issue and well worth checking out if you've never read it. Spaceship Away is published three times a year, with high production values to its printing. A quality product. You can order issues from the website here:


paddykool said...

hi Lew ...Although I was never the greatest Eagle fan back in the day, I can certainly appreciate the quality of the work in retrospect. I'm a great fan of Frank Bellamy's work but i can onto it later on , probably prompted by a great feature in Dez Skinn's Fantasy Advertiser.I took a second look and now I have many issues of the 1960's comic. some of which I've bound into neat books. I have some of the 1950's annuals too, but back then the comic seemed a bit too staid for me. I am always glad to see a good fanzine continuing with quality and enthusiasm though, and Spaceship Away looks like a good one. I used to really enjoy Crikey and I think I saw SA advertised there. Is it on sale on any newsstands or is it strictly a postal affair like those great old zines?

Lew Stringer said...

I have to say I wasn't a fan of Eagle as a child, and only had one copy in 1968. (Although it was way past its best years by then.) I had the 1974 Dan Dare Annual though which I really enjoyed. (It reprinted classic 1950s strips.)

I'd say Spaceship Away was closer to a professional comic than a fanzine. (I presume Don Harley is paid for his work at least.) It's not distributed to newsstands but some comic shops stock it. The sure way to get it is by mail though.

SID said...

Thanks, Lew. It reminded me to order this year's subscription which I have just done.

I love the comic. Very vintage and very well done in my book.

MikeM said...

They won't let me join their FB group, though! Probably because my cover picture is the Japanese term for a guy who likes gay comics in huge writing.

Anyway, the publishers of Spaceship Away also do a number of books reprinting other 1950's comic strips, a mail order form comes with the comic. They're all a bit steep for me, but I presume they're the same quality as the comic itself - IE, very good!

Lew Stringer said...

I'm not sure if those books are as slickly printed as Spaceship Away but I could be mistaken. I haven't seen them but as they print them to order they'd be digitally printed presumably.

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