Retro Fan #3 Winter 2019 (magazine review).

January 22, 2019 | By | Reply More

As you can tell from the cover of Retro Fan # 3, the opening interview is with Richard Lester and even he’d lost count with how many decades since he directed ‘Superman’ movie. There’s also a few reveals that you might not have heard of before, including musical chairs with composers.

I can’t recall ‘Kool-Aid’ powder drinks ever reaching British shores although, reading the piece here, I can see the reasons why any international sales would have been quickly curtailed.

Andy Mangels explores the early Aquaman Filmation despictions in cartoons and how he became, literally, a fish out of water in the Hanna-Barbera JLA/Super-Friends cartoons. It’s interesting to note that his first voice, Marvin Miller, was also the voice of Robby the Robot in ‘Forbidden Planet’. There’s also an examination of the 1980 court case of DC Comics v Filmation Associates which ultimately legally protected copyright names but not super-powers, which I suspected gave a sigh of relief to other comicbook companies.

Mike Eury takes a brief look at afros. I would correct him on one-thing regarding Leo Sayer, whom he notes as a one-hit wonder. I did think perhaps Sayer only had one hit in the USA but looking him up, he was quite proficient with hits and albums both sides of the pond.

He also looks at Irwin Allen’s SF TV shows as a collective. Here, he also points out where each show fed of each others cast and sets. You also get to see some of merchandise. I hope there is some thought in later issues to showing completed plastic model kits so they can be compared to the box art. I had an Aurora luminous Dracula kit when young and it was as good as the box art. Drawing together other time travel shows that were influenced by ‘The Time Tunnel’ and including ‘Doctor Who’ is clearly wrong as it started 3 years earlier.

I have to confess I never got caught up in the home video console game, preferring arcades and waiting for some decent home computers. Learning about the first comicbook character game by Atari explored by Robert C. Conte here, I have to confess I’m glad I waited. Back when such technology started it was all rather pixel blocky but no one had seen such things before and you had control over what it could do. Primitive by today’s standards with little RAM, it at least shows how far we’ve come since then.

Scott Saavedna looks at ‘The Amazing Sea Monkeys’ which were actually brine shrimp which could be restored from dehydration with salt water. When I was young, I did find the picture, incidentally drawn by Joe Orlando, a bit questionable but as they weren’t available in the UK, that was all I know. Reading here, I think I would have added a magnifying glass to my wants list with it.

Scott Shaw! looks at ‘The Incredible Hulk/Amazing Spider-Man Toilet Paper’ no less. Like Shaw!, I treat my lavatory as a reading room, complete with a low long wide stool holding mags, and even the bathroom but only when I’m cleaning my teeth. It’s amazing how many pages you can absorb while doing the mundane things. I have vague memories of joke toilet rolls over here in the UK but not a comicbook story. In this case was done by the late great Marie Severin and I have to wonder if those who bought this unique roll kept at least some of it for…er…posterity. It’s certainly not bog-standard.

Ernest Farino explores early fanzines, mostly starting out from the ones looking at SF and horror movies. I’m less sure that Wallace Wood’s ‘Witzend’ is a fanzine and more like an independent comicbook. It’s rather interesting seeing Cinefantastique’s fanzine origins and its first cover.

Time to go back to Metropolis. Not so much as in the DC Universe version but the real town in Illinois who have made Superman their hero. As Mike Eury also shows here, they have a Superman Museum which has to be a mecca for the Man of Steel’s fans, especially as they also have his suits from all of films. Don’t go in with kryptonite.

Finally, a look at Chris Franklin’s Mega-Toy collection and his childhood memories. This also extends briefly to Mattel and into Kenner. Franklin is obviously a DC Comics fan and the variety of models here is staggering.

‘Retro-Fan’ is going places where TwoMorrows’ other magazines don’t go and I suspect if you have a unique collection then you should certainly contact him with photographs. They might be unusual but I find, as a collector by default, that I’m not alone with such madness. With the other articles as well there’s a lot to stir up memories and knowledge.

GF Willmetts

January 2019

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 80 page magazine, 2019. Price: $ 8.95. (US). ISSN: 2576-7224. Direct from them, you can get it for $ 7.61 (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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