Retro Fan #23 November 2022 (magazine review).

Expect an interesting learning curve from the latest issue of ‘Retro Fan’. Scott Saavedra’s look at the M&M’s sweets also looks at some of the other American candies at the same time. I often thought of them as being the American version of our Smarties but he names them separately. About the only thing he doesn’t address is the sweets’ name.

Nostalgia wasn’t dead in the 1970s as Mike Eury looks at the likes of ‘Happy Days’ and ‘Grease’ as the sanitised version of the 1950s forgetting, as he points out, a long list of problems in the USA at that time. Yet it sprung rock’n’roll from which changed the music industry forever.

Mark Voger has a look at the ‘Creature From The Black Lagoon’ films. About the only thing I would correct is that Milicent Patrick was the key designer of the Gill-Man when earlier designs didn’t work. Love the photo of her with the creature’s head here. I do agree with Voger that that Gill-Man deserves to be there with the other key monsters from earlier years, mostly because the ones that imitated him were not anywhere near as impressive and can’t recall any being used underwater. Well, until ‘The Shape Of Water’ (2017) which borrowed heavily from the design.

As you might have noticed, I often compare the American scene to whether it was imported to the UK. Mike Eury goes over ‘Colorforms’ where you put different coloured sticky paper on pictures using an assortment of franchise characters. It looks like we were never a market for such a thing.

This issue also goes surreal for two articles. Writer Will Murray looks at our UK 1968 TV series, ‘The Prisoner’. The fact that its longevity still goes on today should speak for itself as a cultural icon. He covers all the main details with an interesting selection of photos. I would add that the end of the series and the way his London home front door closed implied that he was still a prisoner.

The second surreal is Scott Shaw!’s look at the animated 1968 film ‘Yellow Submarine’. Not a film I’ve seen all the way through but when you read about the mish-mash of its creation, you would be wondering how it ever got completed.

Writer Andy Mangels goes back to Saturday morning viewing with the animated ‘Flash Gordon’ which had two series and a film, three if you include ‘Defenders Of The Earth’. I did have to stop and think who he was referring to as ‘Gwen Bachelor’ who worked on the 1935 animated ‘Robin Hood’. It’s actually British animator/director Joy Bachelor from the UK animation unit Halas & Bachelor. A minor quibble but it does show I’m paying attention.

Lastly, despite the 1985-86 14 episode TV series starred Trevor Eve, I can’t recall ‘Shadow Chasers’ being shown over here. Writer Jeffrey S. Miller interviews showrunner Kenneth Johnson about the series which makes for an interesting curio. Considering that Warner Bros have released other of their TV series in their limited release scheme, I’m surprised its fans haven’t pushed them to let it out. It predates ‘The X-Files’ after all.

Lots to learn here. Don’t miss a copy.

GF Willmetts

October 2022

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page magazine. Price: $10.95. (US). ISSN: 2576-7224. Direct from them, you can get it for $10.95 (US))

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