Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Spaceship Away No.43 arrives with a festive cover

The latest edition of thrice-yearly comic Spaceship Away dropped through my letterbox yesterday and it's another fine issue. The brand new Christmas cover by veteran artist Don Harley (Eagle, TV21, Countdown) is worth the cover price alone in my opinion, but the contents deliver the goods as well.

There's another eight pages of the new Dan Dare adventure Shakedown Cruise, written and drawn by Tim Booth who puts an amazing amount of work into his panels...

Other strips are the second part of Operation Pintos, a reprint from the 1950s (but the original source isn't mentioned unfortunately), and a reprint of The Golden Amazon (part 2) by Philip Harbottle and Ron Turner, based on the novel by John Russell Fearn. This strip is newly coloured by Martin Baines, who does a great job on it, retaining Turner's original linework.

There's also a humour strip, presumably a reprint, called Davy Rocket. Sadly uncredited with no mention of where it first appeared. I presume this has also been newly coloured. Why put credits on the adventure strips but not on the humour strip? 

The rest of the issue is comprised of various articles. Some, such as a history of rockets and an item on a video game, seem out of place in Spaceship Away and I'd have preferred to have seen another strip reprint or a Dan Dare related article in their place. However, some of the other articles are excellent. There's an interview with David Leach, editor of Titan's new Dan Dare comic, and a very informative feature on the 1930s magazine Modern Wonder, a precursor to Eagle. I'd heard of this publication but knew very little about it, so this feature was very welcome. Modern Wonder, published by Odhams (a company behind several good titles over the years), was a glossy tabloid that must have looked very futuristic to the kids of 1937. Sadly, wartime paper shortages and suchlike put an end to it and the later generation that Eagle was aimed at would have had no knowledge that a similar publication had appeared years earlier.

Spaceship Away isn't cheap at £8.50, but the production standards are very high and that price does include postage. This latest issue, No.43, will be available to order soon from the comic's website:
http://spaceshipaway.org.uk


6 comments:

Andrew Scott said...

Love the cover! Your review mirrors mine frankly. Not really interested in early rockets history appearing in this magazine. If I want that info I can look elsewhere (it’s a pretty tenuous link to DD anyway). Would much more prefer some more reprints or have had the Modern Wonder Article expanded. Still great artwork within.

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, it would have been good to see some of those Modern Wonder covers shown full page size instead of articles about rockets and space news. Just because it's called Spaceship Away doesn't mean it needs features about real-life spaceships.

Colin Jones said...

Yes, a great cover - but it's strange how we associate snow with Christmas even though it never snows at Christmas :)

Lew Stringer said...

It does sometimes, but not often. I remember snow on Christmas Eve a few years ago, and definitely sometimes when I was a kid.

@MLPasterisk said...

I put in an order as I'm a sucker for a Christmas cover (and the Spaceship Away ones are always wonderful.)

I also wasn't keen on the non comics related features inside. If they're going down that road it would put me off buying it in future.

Lew Stringer said...

I'm fortunate that they send me a review copy but I take your point. I would be put off by the non-comics features too.

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