|#1-5 of Eaglmoss' under-advertised Gerry Anderson reprints|
You might have seen a TV advert over the New Year from Eaglemoss, the publishers of the Marvel Chess partwork. The company (according to their site) had a global turnover (in 2011) estimated "to reach €230M generated across more than 150 collections published in 35 markets and in 20 different languages. More than 50% of the group turnover arises outside the EU. We dominate the Eastern European and Russian language markets and invest to become leading publishers in Japan and the other BRIC countries. We are launching approximately 80 collections every year as independent publishers or in partnership with other publishers". [Link supplied by me as it was a new term to me!]
On October 12 (2013) I discovered this series was due to be published. The website (which was http://gerry-anderson-collection.com/) [
Each issue is a hardback and the complete set with its series of spines makes a lovely collage mirroring the endpapers (by Andrew Skilleter) but in full colour
|Endpapers by Andrew Skilleter|
Each of the five covers is by Lee Sullivan - I love the Captain Scarlet issue (#4) which I'm sure was influenced by one of his favourite artists, Mike Noble. The comic contents of all 5 are from TV21 and I'll concentrate on Issues 1,2 and 5, all Frank Bellamy stories presented in chronological order. If the series continues this will be the first time, since they were published, they appear chronologically despite many reprints since 1966.
So the big question is how did they do with Bellamy's double page spreads? Well, that's interesting. The lovely brochure included with the books states that in reprinting these, "where possible, pages have been reproduced from the original artwork". I think I can see this in "Operation Depthprobe" but am not very sure. Then they mention:
- Step 1: Scanning is done "by archive restoration experts"
- Step 2: Colour correction "the yellowing of pages is eliminated"
- Step 3: Retouching
|Eaglemoss excellent publicity|
|TV21 #63 cropped from my scan|
|My scan of #109|
|Strange goings on!|
So I love the left hand page of the above example in Eaglemoss' publication, but wait....why, oh why, have they chosen to cut up the next double page spread (see above)?? In some instances they have added a single page of nostalgic adverts (or TB1 launch sequence etc) to ensure they don't need to cut up the double page spread but I can't see a pattern to why they decided to do it this way.
I ought to mention the extra features. Graham Bleathman's cutaways feature in these hardbacks and there are newly written character profiles (Scott Tracy gets two pages in issue 1). Gerry Anderson gets two pages of his life story too in Issue 1
A brief Frank Bellamy biography (Part One) appears in Issue 1 and Part Two in Issue 2 where it is stated erroneously by an anonymous contributor (who Eaglemoss label "industry experts"), "When Frank Bellamy joined the Eagle in 1957 he initially worked on the religious and historical strips that were the comic's mainstay". He actually moved from Hulton Press' younger comic Swift to Eagle to start the "Happy Warrior" strip in October 1957 and then moved onto historical and religious strips. But if I asked you what the mainstay of the Eagle was, I suspect you might mention one "Pilot of the Future" not 'David the Shepherd King' or 'Marco Polo', but I think I'm getting too picky.
In Issue 2 you also get the whole of the story that appeared in TV21 #83-98 called "Solar Danger" in which Bellamy illustrates the first ten week's episodes and then the artwork is handled by Don Harley.
The last point I want to make is an interesting decision. When speech bubbles or captions appear in the original comic to cut into the middle of a double page spread Eaglemoss have digitally moved the caption.
showing shifted captions
Issue 1 (All Bellamy):
- Blazing danger
- Mission to Africa
- Talons of the Eagle
The big freeze
Issue 3: Stingray: The monster jellyfish, Curse of the Crustavons, The Atlantic kidnap affair, and The haunting of Station 17 (all Embleton)
Issue 4: Captain Scarlet: We will destroy Unity City, We will destroy the Observatory network, We will destroy earth communications and Secret Mission