In many respects, Graham Bleathman’s cutout illustrations of the Century 21 vehicles, bases and equipment in the 1990s is a follow-on tradition from what was produced in the 1960s ‘TV21’ comic which followed on what was done in the ‘Eagle’ comic in the 1950s. Indeed, Bleathman points out in the introduction, cutaways were done of real life vehicles and such as well to give insight to readers, so it was hardly surprising fictional counterparts had a similar charm and interest. People want to know what goes on beneath the shell.
From his introduction, Bleathman admits to adding things when information is not given and that might explain the introduction of force fields and anti-gravity devices which I never liked when I saw them in the 90s comics and less so now, mostly because they were never established in the original series or even in the comics. Had they existed, then we’d be seeing them being used for all kinds of purposes and would certainly have made moving the Empire State Building a lot easier. Even when I write my own articles on the Anderson subjects, I keep to the rule of only using what is shown and figure out from that.
With ‘Inside The Worlds Of Gerry Anderson’, we have all of Bleathman’s material for the various ‘Thunderbirds’ comics and other publications from the 1990s. Although these don’t extend to ‘Thunderbird Six’, ‘Secret Service’, ‘UFO’ or even ‘Space: 1999’, I’m surprised no one has commissioned him to cover these series as well, even if it’s just for completeness sake. With this latest reprint, I hope someone at Egmont considers this as a follow up for next year, especially as Bleathman points out he has previously done cutaways for another Anderson show, ‘Space Precinct’. If you add in the ‘New Captain Scarlet’ series and the upcoming new ‘Thunderbirds’ CGI series, it wouldn’t be difficult to achieve.
Just in case no one notices or the fact that I actually read the books I review, I notice no one has corrected the misspelling of the Yello…excuse me Yellow Fox in the text for that vehicle.
I suspect all Anderson fans will buy this book if they missed other reprints or just for completest sake. With the originals from ‘TV21’ by Eric Eden also available, you now have the opportunity to compare them all. Certainly, Bleathman has done more cutaways than the originals so makes for an interesting book.
(pub: Egmont. 127 page illustrated large hardback. Price: £17.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-4052-7265-0)
check out website: www.egmont.co.uk