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Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Jeff Hawke's Cosmos v.9 no.1

The latest edition of Jeff Hawke's Cosmos (Volume 9 Number 1, October 2014, released November) has just dropped onto the doormat with the now familiar mix of strips and space and background features. I have a tiny corner of this issue of the magazine—a little tribute to letterer Jack Potter, who lettered the 'Jeff Hawke' strip for the Daily Express.

Obviously, this is the highlight of the magazine (!), but there are another 93½ pages full of goodies, too. The latest volume continues the run of stories that originally appeared under the name Lance McLane in the Scottish Daily Record, but which were syndicated under the original name of the character, Jeff Hawke.

These strips have never been reprinted before, so if they're something you think might be of interest, it will be well worth asking about how to get hold of the three issues of volume eight, which reprinted all the strips that appeared in 1978-80.

The latest issue contains four stories of varying length published between November 1980 and December 1981. 'The Zoo' is Syd Jordan's take on that age-old science fiction theme of specimens of alien races being collected together like zoo animals. 'Base Builder' features a machine that has the intelligence to create structures from basic materials without the need for supervision; the machine is just a starting point for a group of post-collision survivors setting up a new community.

'Mail Order', the shortest of the four stories here, involves the sighting of a UFO that turns out to be bigger on the inside than on the outside, and 'Baphomet' is a longer tale that reads like H. Rider Haggard meets Dennis Wheatley.

Backing up these tales are the usual bonus features, including the ever-interesting story backgrounds and space notes of Duncan Lunan. This issue also includes Andrew Darlington's latest feature of space heroes, this time taking a look at the Daily Mirror's 'Garth'; meanwhile, Sandy Morrison explains Project Icarus and editor William Rudling reminisces about the recent Jeff Hawke Club Weekend at Duxford Air Museum.

If you're a fan of science fiction strips, or newspaper strips, or good strips in general, you really should already be reading this. Subscription rates are £26 for three issues here in the UK and £34/38/41 for overseas subscribers, payable in a variety of ways. You can find more details (and back issues) at the Jeff Hawke Club web page or by contacting william AT

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