On sale this week in all good bookshops is The Haynes Thunderbirds Agents’ Technical Manual featuring some terrific art by Graham Bleathman and offering unprecedented insight into the (sadly, fictional) workings of the Thunderbirds craft and associated rescue vehicles.
With its fleet of incredible Thunderbirds craft piloted by the heroic Tracy brothers, International Rescue, the creation of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson for the 1960s Thunderbirds TV show, is the world’s foremost rescue organisation, equipped to answer any call for assistance.
Haynes – who are enjoying success with these fictional manuals, which rub shoulders with their better-known real world guides to the inner workings of cars and bikes – tell us the confidential Thunderbirds Agents’ Technical Manual has been created “specifically to support agents on their most dangerous of missions and includes a personal introduction by International Rescue’s Founder and Commander in Chief, Jeff Tracy, as well as background information on inventor Brains’ amazing technological and scientific achievements of the late 21st Century.”
All of which evokes memories in fans of a certain age of the kind of “shared secrets” that were part and parcel of reading TV Century 21 comic in the 1960s.
Featuring detailed and fully annotated cutaway drawings by renowned artist Graham Bleathman, agents will also have access to International Rescue personnel profiles and never-been-seen-before top-secret mission files relating to all major International Rescue call-outs. It details how Jeff Tracy can launch and manage missions from his Pacific island base, the secret hangars and specialised equipment used in missions to date.
The Manual has been compiled by Sam Denham, a leading authority on the work of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, creators of Thunderbirds, and has written a variety of books and publications based on their programmes, in addition to working on other classic TV related projects.
Graham Bleathman is renowned for his cutaway drawings and no one knows more about the inner workings of the Thunderbirds vehicles. DownTheTubes readers may have seen his cutaway work before, in the 1980s Thunderbirds comic and elsewhere, and he’s the artist on both Haynes Wallace and Gromit User Manuals.
Reflecting the cross generational appeal of Thunderbirds, the Haynes Thunderbirds Agents’ Technical Manual also includes contributions from original Thunderbirds production artist Mike Trim, designer of many of the programme’s famous ‘pod’ vehicles, and computer generated art created by talented young artist and film-maker Chris Thompson.
– Thunderbirds Agents’ Technical Manual will be available from all good bookshops from 7th June 2012 and direct from Haynes at www.haynes.co.uk or call 01963 442030, priced £14.99.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.
Categories: British Comics