01/01/2011. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: Spaceship Away. Spaceship Away Part 22 Autumn 2010. Rod Barzilay, 8 Marley Close, Preston, Weymouth, Dorset DT3 6DH, UK. 52 page A4 glossy stock magazines. Price: GBP 6.99 (UK), 10.00 euro, GBP 11.00 (overseas). On subscription or wanting to get back issues, buy 6 and the 7th is for free!!!)
check out website: http://spaceshipaway.org.uk
Just when you thought there wasn’t anything out there to warm your hearts and bring memories back when Great Britain led the way with its space fleet, the latest edition of ‘Spaceship Away’ arrived through my letterbox. In some respects, it’s a mix of good and bad news. The good news is that its eight pages more than last time. The bad news is Rod Barzilay is stepping down from his role as editor and we won’t see who takes charge until the next issue. Having seen all twenty-two issues and considering how much of a novice Rod Barzilay professed to be at the beginning, he has done a remarkable achievement so let’s hope his replacement lives up to his legacy.
This issue is packed with everything from comic stories to interviews related to Dan Dare, plus a few that aren’t but which helps to balance things out for a structured read including cutaway pictures showing the interiors of a rocket and even the Mekon’s anti-gravity chair even if no explanation is given for how be balances on it although he does have a bottom heater.
Dan Dare’s ‘Green Nemesis’ story draws to a close as he and his colleagues do their best to out-wit the Mekon. Charles Chilton’s ‘Journey Into Space’ plunges into another story, ‘Shadow Over Britain’, where the space warp to get Jet Morgan and his crew back to Earth discovers the moonbase a derelict. The panels where it shows their spacecraft flying are captivatingly brought to life by artist Ferninando Tacconi. We also see three sample pages by Sydney Jordan and Theyen Rich for a proposed ‘Planet On Sunday’ newspaper story featuring a slightly more up-to-date Dan Dare. We also have the fourth part of ‘The Bubble Man’ with Garth getting the upper hand over the alien protagonist at long last. John Ridgeway does a beautiful paint job over the late Frank Bellamy’s inks. There is also the start of a new Dan Dare story, ‘Parsecular Tales’ which doesn’t actually feature him from the outset but covers a mining operation that you know he’s going to have to come and sort out later.
If you think all this is breathless, then the article features will fill you in on some back history. Artist Don Harley recounts his time at Frank Hampson’s studio and beyond with suitable photos showing the studio photos of people who posed for Dan Dare and co cos they were too busy to come in from saving the Earth. Writer Pat Mills explains the problems of the 70s when plans were drawn (sic) for the new version of Dan Dare and keeping it going.
There is more than enough here to keep any of you interested in Dan Dare happy and amused. Did I forget to mention the two comedy skits? There are also a couple of old songs that have been given a space age skit that isn’t totally jarring. Don’t miss it.
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