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Retro Fan #15 July 2021 (magazine review).

July 3, 2021 | By | Reply More

I think I agree with editor Mike Eury in his editorial that ‘Retro Fan’ works best as a mixed bag than working to a theme. A scattershot ensures you’ve got something for everyone. If there is a tenuous link, it might come from observation and did you spot this. I’m picking out the main features.

Will Murray goes over the origins of ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’. To us fans, we know Ian Fleming’s contribution of the lead character name and then had to bow out because of contractual obligations to that Bond chap. Also producer Norman Felton laid out some of the ideas it was really Sam Rolfe who fleshed out the U.N.C.L.E. organisation. Some new reveals here are the weaponry was based on the Doc Savage template and Robert Culp was the first choice for Solo. There has to be a story there of why he later went onto ‘I, Spy’.

I knew from the cover a while back that singer Ricky Nelson was going to be covered and I do wonder how many of you out there of a particular age can sing the opening verse of ‘Garden Party’? His twin sons, Matthew and Gunnar, go over their father’s life, cut short by a plane crash to writer Brenna Mona.

With ‘The Great Rural Purge’, Scott Saavedra goes over the American TV sit-com series that were cut in their tracks because they had too many trees. Actually, it looks like it was more to do with drooping ratings and the Nielsen ratings seeking different types of people for marketing.

Ian Millsted has a look at ‘The Muppet Show’ and how it developed under Brian Henson guesting on shows before Lew Grade gave them their own show and a phenomenon was born. Well, at least after the first season, when guests begged to be on it ever since.

Rose Rummell-Eury interviews Daniel Truhitte who played bad boy Rolf in ‘The Sound Of Music’. As a teen actor, he was brought in because he could dance and got smiles when they discovered he could also sing.

Andy Mangels continues his ‘Retro Saturday Morning’ looking at Filmation’s own super-heroes and their run in with DC Comics. I agree with Mangels about why the lawyers couldn’t tell the difference between copyright and trademark, which Marvel did, ensuring that they covered all the bases with Spider-Woman and Teen Hulk and their like. It’s a systematic problem with super-powers as there is an overall limit of choice or combination and its ultimately circumstance and personality which divides them up.

A look at ‘Evel Knievel Diecast Miniatures’ by Mike Pigott is Ideal’s merchandise for the stunt performer. I think a couple of them appeared in the UK but certainly not as many as was actually made.

Ernest Farino’s selection of film set photos is fast becoming my favourite feature, this time as he explores spaghetti westerns and a couple war films. If you ever wondered what director Sergio Leon looked like, you can see here. He also showed Clint Eastwood how to light a cigar stub. Seeing how sets are built up doesn’t dispel the magic on film because once you start watching you should be caught up in the story.

I never held much interest in ‘Wonder Wart-Hog’ or ‘The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers’ but Scott Shaw!’s look their creator Gilbert Shelton certainly shows how he found his niche.

I defy anyone with an interest in nostalgia not to learn something new from each issue or re-enforce memories of years gone past. Without such histories, we would have nothing to show the next generation what they missed.

GF Willmetts

June 2021

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

check out website: www.TwoMorrows.com and https://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=133&products_id=1606

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Category: Culture, Magazines

About the Author ()

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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