1/12/2011. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: Spaceship Away. Rod Barzilay, 8 Marley Close, Preston, Weymouth, Dorset DT3 6DH, UK. 40 page A4 glossy stock magazines. Price: GBP 7.50 (UK) inc p&p, 3 issues for GBP20.00 (UK) inc p&p).
check out website: http://spaceshipaway.org.uk
The latest issue of ‘Spaceship Away’ has settled down and has gone festive despite the season title misnomer. As with many comicbooks both with ‘Dan Dare’ and others over the years, British adventures strips always stopped for yuletide festivities before getting back to normal. Must make a note that the Mekon would prefer to have his present returned.
Alan Vince’s article about artist Desmond Walduck’s work on ‘The Phantom Fleet’ story is very informative with putting the record straight as to Frank Hampton being very pleased with his efforts. Looking at the pages with the article here shows he kept within Hampton’s style.
I’m less sure of Dan’s own adventures with episode six of ‘Parsecular Tales’ as they seek out the lost space station and of Hank Hogan’s sudden importance but things are moving along.
There is also an examination of just where exactly was Spacefleet Headquarters by Charles W. Evans-Gunyther. Hampton placed it on the north-west coast of England. Even back then, there was little regard given to placing take-off bases near the equator to get the maximum boost in 1953.
We also have an second instalment of the ‘Garth’ newspaper strip ‘Finality Factor’ by Jim Edgar and John Allard with art by Martin Asbury, coloured now by Tim Booth. Asbury’s art takes the odd liberty with how close he places Garth’s eyes for expediency for some panels but there’s a greater worry that the Earth is being placed in the middle of an intergalactic war not of their choosing. Even the crash-landed aliens believe that. Chaos is coming.
Likewise, the same could be said of Charles Chilton’s ‘Shadow Over Britain!’ as Jet Morgan and his crew are being brought up to speed, literally, of the alien attack by radiation bombardment and why areas of the UK had to be evacuated. With Space H.Q. moved to Canada, Jet and his team have to get there when they are attacked. There’s some good one-liners hidden in the text that are worth seeking out that have been repeated over the years.
To end there is a great Dan Harley two-pager ‘Race To Space’ landing the Anastasia that accompanied the ‘Race Into Space’ game, instructions included separately. Ah, those were the days.
If you’re a fan of Dan Dare, then the mix of current stories and articles about the original time make a good balance this time and if you’re interested in the subject makes this issue worth seeking out.
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