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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Spaceship Away #36 (Summer 2015)

The Summer issue of Spaceship Away contains two fine articles to accompany its usual compliment of comics strips. I must admit that these were the first things I dived into when the issue arrived. First up was 'The Bruce Cornwell Story', based on Cornwell's own words from previously unpublished recordings arranged by Bruce's son, Anthony. The details of Bruce's wartime experiences are fascinating, as are his memories of working in the comics industry.

A second article explores the forgotten-by-most early work of Dave Gibbons in the pages of Hotspur and Wizard. In 1974, Dave's first professional appearance in the 'Big Two'—outside of lettering and ghosting—made its debut in Wizard in the shape of 'The Wriggling Wrecker', an alien fungus that threatens catastophe when it begins to spread. He continued to work for Thomsons for a few years, drawing 'Year of the Shark Men', 'The Spy in the Sputnik' and the popular adventures of crimefighter 'Spring Heeled Jackson' amongst others.

Tim Booth provides the regular Dan Dare content of the magazine, two stories each of four pages. He is perhaps Spaceship Away!'s finest discovery as he maintains the feel of the original strip without losing the energy that a page of artwork needs to draw in the eye. The only shame is that there's always a four month gap between episodes and the story 'Parsicular Tales', which has now reached episode 19, has now been running for five years.

This latest issue also continues the adventures of Jet Morgan and Nick Hazard and has a centre-spread by Gerry Embleton and a front and rear cover by Don Harley.

This issue has a bonus A5 booklet containing the 20-page first chapter of Operation Tau Ceti by Denis Steeper, who has written a number of other Dan Dare stories in the past. This one tells the tale of Spacefleet's first interstellar expedition.

You can find out more about the magazine, buy back issues and subscribe to the latest issues at the Spaceship Away website.

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