Friday, January 16, 2009

Comic Cuts: Century 21 books

For fans of Thunderbirds and other Gerry Anderson related comic strips, there's a treat in store come March when Reynolds & Hearn publish two volumes of reprints from the classic British comics TV Century 21 and Lady Penelope.

Marcus Hearn has kindly forwarded some news of what we can expect... and I use the word "kindly" in the "this'll start you drooling" sense:

Century 21 Volume 1
Fireball XL5 - The Astran Assassination (artwork by Mike Noble)
Stingray - The Haunting of Station 17 (Ron Embleton)
Stingray - Superjunk (Gerry Embleton)
Thunderbirds - The Devil's Crag (Frank Bellamy)
Thunderbirds - Starburst (Brian Lewis)
Lady Penelope - The Luvenium Affair (Frank Langford)
Zero X - Planet of Bones (Mike Noble)
Captain Scarlet - The Football King (Mike Noble)
Captain Scarlet - Leviathan (Don Harley)
plus a few others...

Century 21 Volume 2
Fireball - Invasion of the Ants
Stingray - Monster Weed Menace
Thunderbirds - Operation Death Probe
Captain Scarlet - Deadly Sea
and much, much more...

Century 21: Classic Comic Strips from the Worlds of Gerry Anderson Volume 1 and Volume 2 will be released in March in paperback and in limited-edition hardback.

(* Pic at top: the finalised cover to volume 1. With thanks to Marcus Hearn for the news and scan.)


  1. By jingo, there sure was some illustrative talent working on that comic title: Noble, Embleton(s), Bellamy, Burns, Jennings, Turner... It's *always* wonderful to see the (far too rare) reprinting of *any* of these strips.

    I hope that these 'new' titles are successful, then we might have a chance to see further editions with the less-often seen stories, eg Frank Hampson's one-off Fireball strip, or Noble's 'Black Ships' or 'Snowmen' Fireball stories (I'd even like to see Graham Coton's less-than-successful 'Asteroid Batmen' strip). And then how about Ron Turner's TV21 Holiday Special Stingray strip (wasn't that his first work for the comic?)? The only place I'll get to see them otherwise is Colindale!

  2. When I mentioned a third (and a fourth, fifth, etc.) volume to Marcus Hearn recently he said he definitely would like to do more. It will depend on how the first two do.

  3. [Sorry, I didn't mean to leave my name off the poriginal post: that was impolite]

    Further titles would be very welcome. For my money it would be great to do a reprint of *all* the TV21 series week for week but, of course, that's not possible for so many reasons (the rights alone would be a nightmare)!

    Just seeing classic strips again is fantastic, but this is very much niche market publishing and it can be difficult to keep a series of books going. Lord knows how Hawk Books managed to keep their beautifully produced, case-bound Dan Dare reprints going for so many volumes. With four years' success behind the new broadcasts of Doctor Who I kind of hoped that the Dalek Chronicles might have had another chance at the press (the Marvel collection, while welcome, was disappointing in its overall quality). There's just so much that's worth revisiting!

    Good luck to Marcus and all involved with the project (and not merely for selfish reasons!).

    BTW, it was great to see Turner's work in the recent Rick Random reprints



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