Retro Fan #11 November 2020 (magazine review).

November 6, 2020 | By | Reply More

With the latest issue of ‘Retro Fan’, we are back into the realms of the original ‘Dark Shadows’ with an interview with actor David Selby. I remember his interviews a long while back in ‘Fangoria’, and his friendly nature is the same here as well, giving insights into the part and how fans stood outside the studio to see them amongst other things.

Editor Mike Eury’s look at the ‘Pet Rock’, devised by Gary Dahl, should raise a chuckle although I’m glad it never caught on over here. It isn’t that we Brits don’t get caught up in some odd hobbies for a while, even from America, but we do have our limits.

In some respects, Quaker Oats had cereals in the USA that never caught on over here. Scott Shaw! gives a look at four different boxed cereals, although other than shape had the same content and the animated promotional campaigns against each other ensured kids bought one or the other and a lot of dental work from its sugar. I’m beginning to wonder if there ought to be health warnings with some of these articles not to try the product.

Bill Springer’s look at the original Kolchak right up to the recent version also included a photo of Jeff Rice (1944-2015), its original creator, whom I’ve never seen before. Without Kolchak, I doubt if we’d ever had ‘The X-Files’, well, perhaps not in the form we had it. When you consider how many poorly budgeted less-successful early series were the foundations for many we have today, it does show the strength of good ideas.

There are two Superman related articles. Ernest Farino looks at the ‘Superman’ TV series and dispels 10 myths associated with its main actor George Reeves with lots of photos. In contrast, Scott Saavedra’s look at Superman’s pal, Jimmy Olsen, will make you question why would the Man Of Steel want such an idiot as a friend. Saavdera pointing out the original Olsen habit of ‘putting anything in his mouth’ and you should have fun listing them. He points out some highlights although misses out the time Brainiac replaced Olsen’s brain with a robot brain. Oddly, there also appears to be a couple LSH references that I haven’t got, although I can’t recall Olsen having Saturn Girl, Duo Damsel and Light Lass as girl-friends but looking it up, it’s in # 76 but more to get him getting closer to his regular girl-friend, Lucy Lane. I do hope there’s a follow-up looking at Lois Lane in a similar matter.

We enter ‘The Twilight Zone’ when Nicolas Parisi looks over the life of Rod Serling and, as I reviewed his book on the subject, lets spend a little more time on Dan Johnson’s interview with Julie Ann Ream, as her uncle was actor Glenn Strange. I knew of him from him being the third actor to play the Frankenstein monster but less about his other western parts including being Butch Cavendish in ‘The Lone Ranger’ and the barman in ‘Gunsmoke’ TV series.

Andy Mangels third part of his look at ‘Saturday Morning Preview Specials’ this time covering 1984-1985. A bizarre thing that appears to work in the USA and all staged to script. Variants in the UK don’t tend to be scripted so a different thing.

Finally, Wesley Voyles has a scratch-built collection combing various components into familiar characters. I’m less sure about Emma Peel riding a Barbie Vespa but it should make some of you think about putting some of your figures doing different things.

As ever, ‘Retro Fan’ is a mine of information on American culture and with the main outlets closed because of the covid-19 virus would recommend ordering direct from TwoMorrows.

GF Willmetts

November 2020

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page magazine. Price: $ 9.95. (US). ISSN: 2576-7224. Direct from them, you can get it for $ 9.95 (US))

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Category: Culture, Magazines

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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