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Excellent, just what I expected and nice to have all of the UFO comic strips from Countdown & TV Action all in two volumes and in good quality paper. Next it would be nice if you could continue publishing the other Gerry Anderson comic strips from these titles and also TV21. Also, it would be particularly nice if you could reprint your Stingray book.
I was delighted to receive my two volumes of the UFO Comic Anthology at the discounted price for the set. In the 1960s and 70s, I was an avid reader of TV Century 21 and later Countdown, although I was late in discovering the existence of the latter! My two favourite strips were the eponymous Countdown (please could we have an anthology of this strip? The artwork was fabulous) and of course UFO. I loved some of the better artists' skill in capturing true likenesses of Straker, Foster and Freeman. I also appreciated catching up on my missed instalments of the UFO strip "The Forcefield" when I was unable to get hold of that week's edition of Countdown! I had high hopes that the comic would develop the idea of the larger vehicles the aliens were bringing, to build their base on Mars. But this proved to be a one-off idea. My favourites were the full-colour plate stories, although there are many more black and white or duotone tales, some of them complete stories in one episode. Some of these strips have appeared in previous anthologies, for example "Too old at 32" is a great story which appeared in the "Menace from Space" collection of TV 21 stories. When I compared the two, I noticed that the earlier anthology was printed on a more shiny paper, which was more like the comic and allowed the colours to shine. However, the current anthologies are beautifully bound, on high GSM paper and I was surprised by the weighty heft of the two books together! In addition to the strips, there are a lot of background articles about the comics, the artists, and other adaptations (including the Italian releases of the same strips). Some of this was fascinating, for example, the fact that the artists had to work on the strips before much had been produced by way of references for the vehicles and their capabilities. One thing which now makes me smile is the way they tried to make sense of Sky1, which is an impossible aircraft at the best of times. They had Sky1 firing a missile out of its front scoop air intake, rather than from the wing missile pods. But this is understandable, since in the TV show, the jet engines seem to be at the back of the missile pods, and there's no way that the front scoop air intake could connect through to those engines. So I guess the artists thought that the missile pods were air intakes! Apart from that, the drag produced by Sky1's totally un-aerodynamic aft aspect (where it joins with Skydiver) would surely have prohibited supersonic flight! It makes me wish that this show could have a modern reboot, with updated vehicles and a properly developing story-arc, similar to Babylon 5. Anyhow, this collection is a fabulous dose of nostalgia, and I recommend it to all those who grew up in the Century 21 universe of Gerry Anderson!
The UFO Comic Anthologies Volume One and Two are taken from the Countdown and TV Action comics and collected in two large hardcover books at nearly 300 pages each. The artwork captures the series nicely with dramatic action and lifelike drawings of the characters mainly in colour and some in black and white. It isn't just comic strips either, as there are photos from the series and background information on the characters and the artists as well. There was only one series of UFO, and there were still a lot of unanswered questions about the aliens, their craft (we never saw inside details), and what their own planet was like. With the comic strips, we can imagine what a second series might have looked like as further adventures take us to different parts of the globe and into space. A lovely addition to any UFO collection, it's nice to see all the strips finally preserved as some fans might not have read them all before. Even if you did collect the original comics, they could be getting a bit worn after over 50 years, so it is still good to get an upgrade.