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Retro Fan #16 September 2021 (magazine review).

September 12, 2021 | By | Reply More

The opening section of the latest ‘Retro Fan’ focuses on ‘Logan’s Run’ as Anthony Taylor and his plans for a book on the subject failed through despite having various interviews taken over the years. So rather than waste them, they are here with actor Michael York, car creator for the TV series, Dean Jeffries (1933-2013) and with co-author of the original book, William F. Nolan.

It all builds up an interesting picture of then, now and the future (sic). Check you palm crystal. If you’ve ever wondered why there hasn’t been a remake of the film or TV series, Nolan points out the various people who wanted to do their own take and totally not get the original concept.

There’s a lot of useful information here on the subject that if you hadn’t known before will certainly add to your knowledge here.

Will Murray’s look at the 1960s ‘Marvel Super Heroes’ cartoon TV series had me remembering a one chance to see it when in London when young as it wasn’t widely circulated in the UK and less than impressed with animation on the cheap. Murray gives all the background.

Most of the shows actress Sue Randall (1935-1984) was in weren’t shown in the UK, but from what Ernesto Farino points out she filled in particular types of roles in many series and probably best remembered for being Miss Landers in ‘Leave It To Beaver’. At least I know Beaver actually had a proper forename name and not animal-mad parents.

A ‘Retro Remembrance’ by Mike Pingel focuses on actress Tanya Roberts (1955-2021) and him working with her and all the roles she played.

I’m less sure about Scott Saavedra’s examination of ‘My Weekly Reader’ (1928-2012) which was a magazine for teens to provide them with information about events. I’m not sure if it’s in ‘Retro Fan’s remit, but it would be useful to look at the size of American newspapers in general and their page counts and why kids generally kept to the cartoon sections. ‘Retro Fan’ builds up a useful picture of American culture up to recent times and what motivates its people.

Scott Shaw! looks at the life and career of Robert Weston Smith (1938-1995), known more popularly as the radio DJ, Wolfman Jack. I vaguely heard of him prior to seeing ‘American Graffiti’ (1979), although I didn’t see the film at the cinema only on TV. If ever there was a demonstration of working hard at what he does to build a career, then this makes for in insightful read.

I do wonder at some things Mike Eury investigates, especially the mullet hairstyle although I’m less sure if Benjamin Franklin had it because, in his time period, the look was more stylised Puritan. It’ll be interesting to see if he does a similar piece on punk hair styles and how much they caught up on the population. I always thought the mullet was a high maintenance haircut so didn’t catch on quite so much over here.

‘Drive-In Theaters’ was very much an American phenomenon for us Brits. I think the first time I saw it was in ‘That Darn Cat’ (1965). Far too chilly to catch on here. Jim Trautman gives its history and how ‘B’ movies held the biggest impact in the USA.

I think I would get on well with David Mandel as he discusses ‘Collecting Comic Art’, considering how many significant Cockrum and Byrne X-Men pages I own myself. His emphasis seems to be on covers. The only thing he doesn’t shed light on is just how much the cost of original pages suddenly made gold look cheap when people realised how rare these pages are. When I bought my pages, against inflation, they weren’t cheap but affordable.

I think the cheapest was a page from Uncanny X-Men # 96 for about £5.00 from a UK dealer but only because it had no X-Men on it. What it did have was the first use of the school’s address in print and Cockrum’s art was still pretty snazzy doing pouring rain. I’m pretty sure those of you with original pages would have their own stories to tell.

You can tell how much reading ‘Retro-Fan’ stirs memories. I only ever caught the tail-end of a couple ‘H.R. Pufnstuf’ and how really sure what was going on except the opening verse of its song and writer Andy Mangels has the full song in his article on the one season TV show and its history.

A really great issue which the cover really doesn’t do justice to. Grab and learn. Nostalgia rules.

GF Willmetts

September 2021

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

check out website: www.TwoMorrows.com and https://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=133&products_id=1607  

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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