Friday, 5 December 2014


Funny how some things seem different in black and white, eh?
This MIKE NOBLE illustrated FIREBALL XL5 story was first
published in full colour in TV CENTURY 21 in 1965, and reprinted
in 'monochrome' in 1971 in COUNTDOWN.  When I look at the colour
version, memories of where I lived at the time come flooding back, and
when I look at the black and white presentation, a completely different
set of memories in another house six years later is forefront in my
mind.  The same tale, but two completely different sets of recol-
lections and associations - weird, eh?  Or perhaps not.

Anyway, although I've presented the colour pages in a series
of posts a couple of years or so ago, I thought I'd show the black
& white ones for all those who first experienced the adventure in this
format.  The story has been reprinted three more times since then:  in
CENTURY 21 in 1991, in (mainly) black and white (the first two pages
were in colour), a couple or so years after that in IPC/FLEETWAY's
THUNDERBIRDS comic, and again a few short years ago in one
of a series of books by REYNOLDS & HEARN, also entitled
CENTURY 21 (and also in full colour in both latter cases).

On the same subject, a few years back, I purchased a DVD
two disc set of FRANK CAPRA's film IT'S A WONDERFUL
LIFE, containing the original b&w movie, plus a colourised version.
(This was to replace a video of the colour version I'd bought back in
the '80s.)  I know some purists might disagree, but it adds a whole new
dimension to the cinematic classic when seen in full colour.  You can
currently obtain the double-disc set from WHS for only £9.99 -
and it includes four cards and a poster.  Go on - give it a try! 

In the meantime, enjoy again one of STEVE ZODIAC &
Crew's finest comic strip adventures.  "Fire retros, Robert!"


John Pitt said...

But the first ( tabloid-sized ) TV21 colour pages were the best - Noble art just how he painted it!

Kid said...

Agreed, JP. However, having said that, quite a few pages from some of the stories in the Reynolds & Hearn Century 21 books were printed from the original art, so the quality would've been at least just as good. Unfortunately, my books are still packed away so I can't check if this particular story benefited from any original art pages.

John Pitt said...

Even so they would have lacked the sheer size of the originals ( and maybe some of the glossiness? )
I bought The Dalek Chronicles ( and I'm GLAD to have 'em! ), but the magazine-sized pages didn't compare to the TVC 21 pages. I'd love to get all my TV 21's back again!

Kid said...

The books have glossy pages, JP, and, in the cases of ones printed from original art, they don't suffer from the slightly off-register printing that TV21 sometimes had. You should check out the books - you may be pleasantly surprised.

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