Monday, May 01, 2017

Space Ace volume 8

The latest issue of John Lawrence's colourful reprinting of Space Ace, the classic Fifties space hero drawn by Ron Turner, arrives with four stories and a feature packed into its 40 pages. The stories in this issue are reprinted from the first of the four volumes of Atlas's annual The Book of Space Adventures (1963).

Artist Ron Turner had stopped drawing Space Ace for some years, turning instead to the more lucrative job of producing the art for paintings-by-numbers for Craftmaster and covers for Practical Mechanics. However, drawing a handful of additional eight-page stories was well within his abilities.

In their original form, the strips were spoiled by having colour overlays added to Turner's black & white art. Here they have been reconstructed by John Ridgway and presented in full colour in a style that I'm sure Turner would have appreciated.

Alien raiders steal the meteor deflector from a space research station in order to rain a deflected meteor shower onto a neighbouring enemy planet in the opening story, 'Space Ace and the Rain of Death'. 'Space Ace and The Revolt' relates how an entire alien race has been robbed of its independence by ruthless enemies, meaning that the handful of remaining rebels are battling a coerced army of their own people. Giving a lift to a magician, Ace and Bill land on a recently invaded planet and are held prisoner; escaping, they hope to free the planet with the aid of Marvolo in 'Space Ace and the Conjuror'. And, finally, in 'Space Ace and the Rescue' Ace and Bill have to save a transport ship that crashlands on Pluto to stop its cargo of arms falling into the hands of one of the planet's warlike races.

Of the four, my favourite was the last, which contains a genuine problem for Ace and Bill to solve, although it also conforms to the typical plot that Turner loved, with Ace finding himself on an alien planet between two enemy races.

John Ridgway, meanwhile, pens an interesting feature on how he approaches each story with an eye to colouring it. While some would argue that Turner's artwork ought to be seen the way it was originally presented, I'm more than happy to see John's interpretation; in this particular volume, I don't think anyone would argue, as the strips, some originally printed in red rather than black, were never shown in the form Turner drew them.

You can get hold of this latest volume for £8.95 (UK) or £12.50 (Europe) and £14.50 (International) including p&p — and that's pretty much at cost, I can assure you — with payments through Paypal via spaceace.54 AT or by cheque or postal order to John Lawrence, 39 Carterweys, Dunstable, Beds. LU5 4RB.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Click on the above pic to visit our sister site Bear Alley Books