Saturday, October 26, 2013
Thunderbirds: The Comic Collection review
I was also picking up TV21, which meant I caught the tail end of the Frank Bellamy run on Thunderbirds. Now, Thunderbirds was my favourite of all the Gerry Anderson shows, so to have new adventures, in colour, was mindblowing. Later, I could appreciate the skill with which Bellamy depicted the characters and the action, telling the story through an intricate jigsaw of jagged-edged panels, but when I was seven the story and the colour were the key issues.
So re-reading these yarns is like rediscovering a little bit of my childhood that I haven't stumbled across in some while. Ravette reprinted at least some of these stories back in the early 1990s, but I was too busy with other things to pick up every volume. That makes this current collection a real joy: it doesn't contain every story published, but it is a very solid run of strips published between September 1967 and April 1970, with 14 of the 16 stories painted by Frank Bellamy. The remaining two stories by John Cooper from TV21 & Joe 90 have been newly coloured in a style that makes the stories fit perfectly into the book.
For the most part the integrity of the colour is pretty good: working from printed copies can be a pain (believe me, I know!) as delicate colouring can easily be lost as you remove the smoky yellow cast caused by age. Volumes where artwork has been restored or rescanned from original boards can give us a far better chance of the colours remaining true in a printed book. But I think Egmont, bar the occasional glitch (e.g. pages 54-55), have done a pretty good job.
The pricetag for this chunky book is an equally chunky £25.00. But many shops will have the volume on offer and Amazon are offering the book with a 35% discount.
Thunderbirds: The Comic Collection. Egmont ISBN 978-1405-26836-3, October 2013, 288pp, £25.00.