Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Booknote: Classic Space: 1999: To Everything That Was

Andrew E.C. Gaska,, Space: 1999: To Everything That Was: Remastered Works from the Comics Archive 1975-1979. Los Angeles, CA: Archaia Entertainment, 2013. ISBN: 9781936393954. (link to publisher)

For fans of the television show Space: 1999, this will be a trip down nostalgia lane. This volume collects and remasters the comics series from the 1970s based on the television series; it picks issues from 1975 to 1979 published by Charlton Comics and the British Look-In magazine. From what I gather, Look-In did a lot of comic strips based on television shows of its time (the Wikipedia article has quite a list). For me, this was a treat. As a child, I did grow up watching the Space: 1999 television program along with other series such as Doctor Who (I caught mostly the Tom Baker era). I did not know that Space: 1999 had comics, let alone that there were comics on both sides of the pond, so to speak. Archaia brings a selection of these comics into one volume and blends them in quite well. For folks keeping track, this collection would fall between the first and second seasons of the television program.

I have to say that this is truly a labor of love. As I mentioned, nostalgia readers will certainly like this. The comics really do capture the feel of the television program down to the opening sequence of each episode where we are reminded about the nuclear explosion that tore the Moon from Earth's orbit and send the Moon, along with Moonbase Alpha, on its journey through space. Back when I was a kid, 1999 seemed so far away. I can say that even though we are in 2013, much of the appeal of this series holds well. The comics present different stories of the Moonbase Alpha crew as they seek out a new planet to call home and meet various obstacles and adventures. Some stories are light; others have a bit of depth. Like many anthologies, the stories do vary in quality and some are more interesting than others. Howeer, this is a good package overall. It is also a good way to introduce new readers to the series.

The color on this is very good. If you read some of these in black and white before, this is definitely much better. However, the lettering at times is a bit small, so that may be an issue for some readers. The volume also includes some very good art in the chapter breaks; this was a feature that I definitely enjoyed. In addition, the volume features a chronology of Alpha's journey and a comic book covers gallery.

Overall, I would give it 4 out of 5 stars if you ask me. It has good color and art, but the stories do vary in terms of the quality. However, I think you get some good value here overall in terms of the collection. Public libraries may want to add it to their collections. The comic is rated for teens, and I think it is a pretty good read for young readers.

Disclosure note: Once again, I get to tell you I read this as an e-book via NetGalley provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. There, that should keep The Man happy.

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