Tube Surfing: Anderson events, Dan Dare Toys and a Cartoon Classroom update

fanderson_convention_2010_tv21.jpg• Gerry Anderson official fan club Fanderson have announced they will be staging their first major convention for four years next year. TV21: Adventure in the 21st Century will be based at the Ramada Bristol City – the same venue as the Comics Expo – taking place on the weekend of Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th October 2010.

The event will feature special guests from the worlds of Gerry Anderson, screenings of favourite episodes and rare material on the big screen, workshops where you can develop your interest in the Anderson productions beyond reading the organisation’s FAB Magazine and watching DVDs. There will be merchandise for sale and a stunning model and art exhibition, including many pieces not seen before at a Fanderson event. For more info, visit the Fanderson web site

MyFABYears.jpg• Talking of things Anderson, several downthetubes readers have been in touch to tell us that Sylvia Anderson, Gerry’s former wife, is doing a tour of the UK next year, in conversation with musician David Courtney, to promote her new autobiographical book, My FAB Years, which has been out for a while. Prices vary between venues but are around £15 per person plus booking fees. The duration, according to one of the venues, is a remarkable two hours 20 minutes. More info here on David Courtney’s web site: be patient, it seems to take a while for the page to load.

• Nick Barley has been named the new director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which annually brings more than 700 author events and over 200,000 visitors to its tented auditoriums on Charlotte Square, and has been talking up the possibility of comics guests at the major event. Talking to The Scotsman, Mr Barley, a former executive director of the Lighthouse architecture and design centre in Glasgow which sadly went into administration earlier this year, said experts could be brought in to run parts of the festival’s programming, such as Scottish writer Grant Morrison for a section on graphic novels. We have to say that we’re unaware of Mr Morrison making many appearances at Scottish writing events. Perhaps John and Sandra from Metaphrog would probably be a better call, or Alan Grant?

• During his interview, Mr Barley mentions The Death of Bunny Munro by musician and author Nick Cave, launched by Edinburgh-based publishing company Canongate as the world’s first novel in the form of an iPhone application. Cave has composed a soundtrack tailor-made to complement the audio book of his new novel, working with musician Warren Ellis – not to be confused with comics writer Ellis and they appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday to examine whether audio books are an unexploited medium. You can listen here for a few more days. Today is now asking for people to suggest a soundtrack for their favourite book – you can suggest Watchmen or The Ballad of Halo Jones here, perhaps…


Dan Dare action figures and spaceships are on their way, based on designs inspired by the original Frank Hampson character of Eagle fame. The products are the work of Day2Day Trading, who also hold licenses for characters such as Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon (an example of their work above, more here). Their work to date looks amazing – they kindly sent a stunning pre-production image of the Cyclops from their Sinbad range. Expect to see the new Dan Dare items in shops sometime next year.

• More events: Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes to say Friday & Saturday 28th & 29th May 2010 will see a conference in The University of Northampton called em>Magus: Transdisciplinary approaches to the work of Alan Moore. More about it here. “I wrote to them to mention my interest in such matters and, to cut a long story short, I’ll be there, giving a paper (i.e. a 20 minute talk) on Collecting Alan Moore.” Also at this academic conference will be Gary Lloyd, who collaborated musically with Alan and also with Iain Banks.

The Cartoon Classroom is now fully up and running: if you registered before on this while it was being tested, co-organiser David Lloyd advises you will have to do so again now it’s totally operational. “In these early days, what we need most of all is for colleges, schools, libraries, local museums and galleries to know about the site – so any help you can give with that would be invaluable,” David asks. “And give us any info you think we should have on the site that you can’t see there. Is there a gallery near you showing cartoon art, which isn’t listed on our site or registered with us? Tell us. Tell them about us. Is a library offering cartoon workshops near you which isn’t shown on our site? Tell us.” Send info to

• Complied with thanks to Jeremy Briggs, Jay Mullins Katie Bleathman and Pádraig Ó Méalóid

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