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Friday, July 10, 2015

Review: Spaceship Away No.36

The latest issue of Spaceship Away has arrived, and it's a cracking issue! Published three times a year, issue 36 has 40 full colour pages with a solid content of top material. 

There's a brand new cover by the great Don Harley, who also contributes a back page illustration of Dan Dare. In the centrespread this issue there's a new illustration of Dan and Digby vs The Mekon, drawn by veteran illustrator Gerry Embleton. You may remember Gerry drew the initial new Dan Dare strip for the revived Eagle in 1982, but this time he tackles the original Dan, and it's a great illustration. (No, I'm not showing it here. Buy the issue to see it for yourselves.)

The all-new adventures of Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future continue in the serials Parsecular Tales and Mercury Revenant, both by Tim Booth. Incredibly detailed artwork. I still think these strips need a resumé box to bring readers up to speed. Four months is a long time to wait between issues and with all that people have going on in their lives it's difficult to remember the story so far without help. I appreciate that space is tight but perhaps by the use of a smaller font size a resumé could appear on page two every issue, beside the editorial?
There are two main articles in this issue and they're both excellent. I'm sure all fans of the classic Eagle will enjoy The Bruce Cornwell Story, a ten page feature  written by Bruce's son Anthony, with quotes from his father. A fascinating account of the artist's life and career.
The other article is a four page resumé by Jeremy Briggs of the strips that Dave Gibbons illustrated for The Hotspur and The Wizard in the mid 1970s. This is invaluable information for the many fans of Dave's work. I wasn't aware of most of the strips myself, not being a follower of those comics at the time. (Although I did cover The Year of the Shark Men recently. See here for that post.)
Other strips in this issue are 1950s reprints Jet Morgan in The World Next Door, humour strip Davy Rocket, and part 2 of Ron Turner's Nick Hazard and the Planet of Doom, coloured by Martin Baines.
There's also a free 20 page mini book featuring Chapter One of the prose story Operation Tau Ceti by Denis Steeper. 
As I said, all in all it's a great issue! It'll be available to order soon from the Spaceship Away website:


Hibernia Comics said...

I always feel a little guilty at not picking this up more often, but I usually pick up a copy when I'm at the comic shop, which is not a lot. I have hear mutterings that its too dear, but I have found it packed with content and obviously produced with a lot of work, and the colour! Not cheap to produce, and compared to a lot of the comics that are available for 4 or 5 quid for a 10 min read, Spaceships could be seen as value for money.

Lew Stringer said...

Admittedly I get a free copy but I don't think it's too expensive for what it is. Quality colour printing throughout, and 40 packed pages. Like you said, a more rewarding read than a £3 comic that would take ten minutes to read.

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