New Spaceship Away plunges back to 1950s for plenty of action and adventure

Spaceship Away Part 45 - Cover

The summer issue of Spaceship Away – Part 45 is available now, wrapped in cover art by the late Ron Jobson, utilising art from the 1950s space adventure “Space Kingley” stories.

(Art that, it has to be said, may have had a lasting influence on the design team of Gerry Anderson’s Thunderbirds?).

Spaceship Away Part 45 - Shakedown Cruise

Spaceship Away Part 45 - Operation Pintos

Spaceship Away Part 45 - Golden Amazon

Inside, there’s the usual mix of SF strips, leading with Tim Booth‘s new classic Dan Dare stories, “Shakedown Cruise” (Episodes 17 and 18) and “Operation Pintos” (Episode Four), by Gordon Coombs and Harry Winslade.

John Russell Fearn‘s the Golden Amazon epic continues with “Twilight World” (Part Four), coloured by Martin Baines, and there’s two pages of a “Space For Humour” strip, presumably reprinted from an unidentified 1950’s book, but with modern colouring.

Spaceship Away Part 45 - Centrespread by Ian Kennedy

This issue’s centrespread features a newly commissioned piece of Dan Dare art by Ian Kennedy.

There’s a mix of features, too, with Andrew Darlington examining the three lavishly illustrated Captain ‘Space’ Kingley annuals that were published in the 1950s that are the source of both front and back covers. (This article previously appeared in a 2007 issue of Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos).

For those unfamiliar, as Jeremy Briggs noted here back in 2011, Kingley was one of the multitude of Dan Dare clones that were created by many publishers to cash in on the popularity of Eagle’s spaceman. The only one to really approach the artistic excellence that was displayed each week in Eagle was Space Kingley and Ron Jobson was the artist who produced the vast majority of the artwork for the three books and four “Kingley” jigsaws that were released, three from art from the books.

Spaceship Away Part 45 - Space Kingley Feature Page 1In addition to Space Kingley Jobson worked on may other subjects from 1950s children’s picture books via 1960s Matchbox car boxes and 1970s Airfix boxes and instructions to 1980s aviation and space reference books.

From a science fiction perspective, he also provided the painted covers for the hardback versions of Charles Chilton’s Journey Into Space novels and as well as some of the hardback covers for EC Elliott’s Kemlo books.

He died in January 2014.

Ray Wright reviews the very latest from the world of space, with four pages of Space News and this issue launches a new feature, “The Frontiers of Space”, a look at the planning that went into sending men into space in the 1950s, re-published, presumably, from a 1950’s magazine.

“A New Generation with A New Explanation” looks at the career of Jersey artist, Gerald Palmer, who died last year.

• Spaceship Away is available to buy on subscription at, or eBay

• Ron Jobson’s career was covered by Norman Wright and David Ashford in Book and Magazine Collector Issue 320

Find Space Kingley books on Amazon (using this link helps support downthetubes) | Space Kingley items on eBay

Read our tribute to artist Gerald Palmer

Read Steve Holland’s biography of illustrator and comic artist Harry Winslade here on Bear Alley

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