A belated plug here for the latest Spaceship Away, Issue 55, the Dan Dare-inspired glossy zine offering new original Dare stories and more.
Delayed in its release due to problems that led to a repeat print run, and work is now firmly in progress on Issue 56, out in Spring 2022.
Inside Issue 55, with a cover featuring Dan Dare’s ship, the Anastasia, by the late Ian Kennedy, also featured as a two-page centre spread, you’ll find the usual mix of strips and features, including the continuation of “Dan Dare – Voyage of the Ankum“, written by John Bailey, adapted by Richard Woods, drawn by William Naylor, with text and editing by Des Shaw, coloured by Martin Baines.
Also included is a “Jeff Hawke, The Comet’s Tale”, Part 2, a colourised version of what was a monochrome tale by Sydney Jordan; and “Target: Earth” Episode 6 by Gordon Coombs, with art by Harry Winslade.
The issue also features a tribute to the late artist and illustrator Greta Tomlinson, who worked on Eagle from the beginning in a draughty lean-to shack in Southport, Lancashire, in 1950.
Spaceship Away was first published in the Autumn of 2003, twelve years after Rod Barzilay, the title’s original editor, took the first steps in a project to create a new Dan Dare story, entitled “The Phoenix Mission“. The story was written by Rod and it was illustrated by Don Harley and Keith Watson, both of whom had worked long before, on the Dan Dare stories in Eagle in the 1950s and 1960s.
Today edited by Des Shaw, Spaceship Away typically, contains newly-written Dan Dare adventure stories, together with other strip-illustrated stories, also in the science fiction genre. Features sometimes include illustrated text-based stories alongside factual articles, such as biographies of of some of the original contributors to the Eagle of the 1950s, such as writer Alan Stranks in this issue and other articles on historical topics, science fiction literature or science.
The title now includes a regular Space News section, bringing readers up to date with space transport and science developments and planned projects in the real world.
A fantastic piece of detective work about the comic creator, whose credits also included illustrations for the Eagle, “The Brainy B’s” for Zip and the “Battle Brothers” for Express Weekly, as well as working on various boys and girls titles for DC Thomson
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.