Retro Fan # 26 May 2023 (magazine review)

With the previous issue of ‘Retro Fan’ still in transit because of the British GPO software glitch, at least more current stuff is getting through faster.

Writer Andy Mangels look at ‘Super Friends’ as the first part of a look at Saturday Morning super-hero cartoon shows. As far as I can recall, although we people saw the advert in the American comicbooks for it, the series was never shown in the UK. Considering it was done to be non-violent, I couldn’t see it drawing a following over here and Mangels article doesn’t alter my mind on that. That’s not to say its not worth reading about but it is an indication that the people in charge clearly didn’t understand the subject. Restricting kids from violence is good in an principle but having a safe outlet for aggression does make sense or why else are so many computer games so popular?

There’s a bit of a misnomer about ‘John And Yoko’s Nation Of Nutopia’ as covered by writer Scott Saavedra because its only covered a little and that it was a fictional reality wind-up by Lennon. Much of the article covers the couple’s peace not war movement and his time in New York up to his murder in 1980.

Writer Will Murray has a look at the UK TV series ‘The Avengers’, covering all but the merchandise. However, as it goes on the cover, it is writer Anthony Taylor’s interview with actress Elizabeth Shepherd as to why her take on Mrs. Peel was rejected. From her perspective, she was told she had a freehand in creating her character but production weren’t very keen and toned it back. Having reviewed Macnee’s book this month, I suspect the on-screen chemistry failure only added to this rather than being the only reason she was fired.

Something I really have no knowledge of but writer Mark Voger provides a look at but not totally inclusive is a look at Mexican monster movies, mostly for their home market, although they did bring in the odd American actor from time to time.

‘All In The Family’ was the USA’s take on the British ‘Till Death Us Do Part’, although unlike ours, Archie Bunker had a merchandise spread in records, books and badges as writer Richard Kolkman has a look at them.

Oddly, writers Susan Bailey and Ken Lynch’s look at ‘Daktari’ and actress Cheryl Miller who played Paula Tracy has to be a highlight as I remember the series from the mid-1960s. Producer Ivan Tors had a very good and believable cast which makes all the difference with such a series.

I doubt if there’s anyone here who hasn’t heard of Mr. T. Born Laurence Tureaud, it was his reaction to racist remarks that got him to change his name. Writer Scott Shaw! goes over Mr. T’s history even before he got to his biggest success with ‘The A-Team’ although he never started off with the ambition to act but doing any job he could do to the best of his ability. Definitely one of a kind.

Editor/writer Mike Eury’s look at women’s liberation with bra burning is a good indication that ‘Retro Fan’ needs to look at cultural change in any society from time to time.

Lastly, writer Brian Stroud visits Cleveland and although artist Joe Shuster’s home there is now demolished, the fences thereabouts are decorated with facsimiles of Superman # 1 material. Writer Jerry Siegel’s original home still exists but is a private residence so no visits but there is a big original ‘S’ on the fence.

Diversity is the name of the game with ‘Retro Fan’ and this issue has more than enough of that to satisfy your need for nostalgia and stir your memories or even clarify why you missed certain things when young.

GF Willmetts

April 2023

(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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