Retro Fan #5 Summer 2019 (magazine review).

As the cover of the fifth issue of ‘Retro Fan’ shows, they have an extensive interview with actor Mark Hamill. Interviewer Glenn Greenberg was interviewing Hamill along with animator Dave Filoni and production designer Doug Chiang and much of what Hamill said was cut to fit in the time slot. So nothing was lost, Greenberg offered it to ‘Retro Fan’ and here we are.

Hamill touches on a lot of subjects extensively and in detail. I think how becoming instantly recognisable world-wide should make you think. For obvious reasons he doesn’t touch much on his recent ‘Star Wars’ films involvement but you get a lot more about the earlier films and his work as a character actor.

A brief look at the Apollo Missions by Mike Eury and then into a topic I’m even more familiar with, Major Matt Mason. When I was a youngster I had several of these plastic 6 inch dolls and some of their equipment, I concur with its writer Joseph Baneth Allen that they invariably broke their limb wire although I think I still have some of their equipment stashed away in one of my cupboards. It does seem like a puzzle why their manufacturer, Mattel, doesn’t even want to discuss them over the years. Maybe it’s because of how they broke.

A new feature with an open invite for contributors is ‘My TV Crushes’, which Rose Rummel-Eury leads off with. Will Murray looks into his love of Tarzan films and touches on the 1960s TV series. Shouldn’t there be an interview with Ron Ely sometime?

I can’t recall ‘Jason Of Star Command’ being in the UK although according to writer Andy Mangels it was dubbed into welsh for a showing over here. He also fills in details with interviews with the lead cast and how it was made on a budget,

Following this, Rod Labbe looks at the American TV dinners for people who didn’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. This particular variety predates microwaves.

Another series that I can’t remember being shown over here was ‘The Greatest American Hero’ (1981-831) and its creator, Stephen J. Cannell, wasn’t that impressed to be asked and did it somewhat as a spoof. Writer Dan Hagen gives the in’s and flights of the show plus an interview with its star, William Katt, where we explore his career. I agree with Katt about ‘Carrie’ that Tommy was never a bad guy, just a victim. After all, would he have intentionally stood under a couple buckets of pig’s blood and get hit on the head?

Scott Saavedra’s visit to Seattle and the Museum Of Pop Culture is rather revealing as it is built out of the collection of the late Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen. It covers a long range of genre films and TV shows with a dose of comicbooks and SF authors.

Finally, a look at the cartoon strips of ‘Barney Google And Snuffy Smith’, created by Billy DeBeck, as told by Mike Eury. The strip is from 1922, long before the search engine. I was probably too young to come across this strip but think hillbillies. Oddly, the strip was reduced to ‘Snuffy Smitty’ and has only had three illustrator/writers. The third, John Rose, is interviewed here.

As usual, if there isn’t a nostalgia kick then there is certainly something to learn here.

GF Willmetts

June 2019

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

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