Spaceship Away Day

Spaceship Away Day Poster.

Spaceship Away Day Poster.

On Saturday November 14th, a special event for the magazine Spaceship Away was held at Chine Bridge Lodge, Bournemouth (UK).

Launched in 2003 by Rod Barzilay, Spaceship Away presents completely new adventures of the original version of Dan Dare. Over time, the magazine has introduced other stories alongside Dan Dare, such as Nick Hazard, created by Philip Harbottle and John Lawrence and illustrated by Ron Turner, with digital colouring and reformatting by John Ridgway. A new concept has also been featured, Ex Astris, written by John Freeman and illustrated completely in CGI by Mike Nicoll.

The event itself was an opportunity for subscribers to meet various people connected with the magazine as well as additional guests such as Greta Tomlinson, one of the original Eagle artists working with Frank Hampson on Dan Dare.

On the first guest panel, Tim Booth spoke about his Dan Dare artwork in the magazine and in particular, The Gates Of Eden, on which he is both writer and illustrator.

On the same panel, Paul Stephenson from PS Publishing and Alastair Crompton made the first public announcement of a new version of Alastair’s earlier book about Frank Hampson and Eagle, The Man Who Drew Tomorrow. To emphasise the fact that the new book is not simply a reprint or slight alteration, it has the new title of Tomorrow Revisited. It’s planned for the the book to be launched in time for the sixtieth anniversary of Dan Dare next April.

Tim Booth, Alastair Crompton, Paul Stephenson.

Tim Booth, Alastair Crompton, Paul Stephenson.

Graham Bleathman gave a talk with examples of the various cutaway illustrations he’s produced for the magazine.

Graham Bleathman and Anastasia cutaway.

Graham Bleathman with Anastasia cutaway.

Nick Spender gave a talk relating to his earlier article in Spaceship Away, but with extra anecdotes, about his time as a student at Epsom Art School when Frank Hampson was teaching there.

Nick Spender.

Nick Spender.

Frank Hampson at Epsom School of Art and Design.

Frank Hampson at Epsom School of Art and Design.

Other items during the day, included a talk by Andrew Skilleter about his Dan Dare artwork generally, plus working with Keith Watson on Dan Dare in New Eagle.

A separate room was used to display various items, such as Dan Dare models by Sid Clark (several of which have been shown in the magazine), Howard Love, Mike Wood and Chris Tubb. There were also original art boards and reproductions, along with a whole range of classic Dan Dare merchandise.

Dan Dare merchandise.

Dan Dare merchandise.

Altogether, it was an enjoyable day to celebrate a great magazine, many thanks to all concerned.

More Spaceship Away Day pictures here!

Anastasia cutaway.

Anastasia cutaway.

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Well Done Monty Halls

Congratulations to Monty Halls, completing yesterday’s London Marathon in 4 hours and 11 minutes.

In an email from Monty to his sponsors: “It was a fantastic day”. “The support runners received around the course was phenomenal and the dolphin costume certainly proved popular on the day”.

You can still sponsor Monty at his Justgiving website page, to help reach the £10,000 target.

Thank you.

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Happy Birthday Gerry Anderson

Happy Birthday to Gerry Anderson, 80 today. Thank you for many years of classic entertainment.

There can’t be many people unfamiliar with Gerry Anderson’s work, but if you happen to be one of them, why not pay a visit to Fanderson – The Official Gerry Anderson Appreciation Society, where you can find all the information you need – you could even sign-up on-line to become a member!

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Running For Dolphins

As dolphins and other cetaceans are an integral part of Dorad & Sirius, would you please consider sponsoring TV presenter Monty Halls, running in this year’s London Marathon on April 26th, in aid of WDCS (Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society). The main purpose is to raise money for their POD campaign, protecting the dolphins of the Moray Firth in Scotland. You can sponsor Monty on his fundraising page at the Justgiving website.

Thank you.

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D&S Foundations

Dorad & Sirius stems from an earlier idea which led to a short pilot for a possible children’s TV series, made at the facility company Fingers in 1990. Principally based around the graphics platform Quantel Paintbox, the pilot called McMurdo – A Telecomic presented a science-fiction adventure in a comic magazine style, featuring character line illustrations by David Pugh; the main artist producing work for a revival of Dan Dare in New Eagle at the time.

Character line illustrations by David Pugh, for McMurdo - A Telecomic.

Character line illustrations by David Pugh, for McMurdo – A Telecomic.

The pilot episode was made essentially for TVS (a former ITV regional company), for consideration as a strand within their Saturday morning children’s series. As McMurdo was made at a time well before the Internet, CGI and digital production as it is today, the ‘Telecomic’ idea of mixing pictures with animated text and graphics was looked on with interest by the company. On reflection however, as the storyline involved dolphins as central characters, it’s almost certain that the ‘powers-that-be’ were looking for their own equivalent of Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, which was at the height of its popularity all through that year, culminating in a ‘Turtles merchandise Christmas’.

Sadly, while approaching other companies and broadcasters about the pilot, ‘Fingers’ fell victim to the recession in 1991, bringing the specific McMurdo series idea to an abrupt end.

At the very least though, McMurdo – A Telecomic set the wheels in motion, enabling an initial story to develop over time into a more detailed concept, incorporating a ‘real-life’ event which had only taken place four years after the pilot was made.

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Happy Birthday Charles Darwin

As you can see from the header (as well as the image in the previous post), the tag line for Dorad & Sirius is Evolution And Imagination, relating to the ‘What if…’ idea concerning human evolution, which is at the heart of the storyline. Therefore, it seems appropriate that the D&S blog has been launched on the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. So, Happy Birthday Charles Darwin!

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Introduction

Welcome to Chakralog, the official blog for Dorad & Sirius – a new science-fiction concept devised for the digital environment.

The format involves a storyline evocative of wholesome science-fiction comic adventures of the past, while utilising production and presentation methods which didn’t exist at the time.

The purpose of the blog is to outline various aspects of Dorad & Sirius, while accompanying the concept with relative items generally.

Dorad & Sirius: Copyright © 2009 The Dorad And Sirius Partnership

Dorad & Sirius: Copyright © 2009 The Dorad And Sirius Partnership

As the project  is a ‘work-in-progress’, there will be further postings with the latest news and developments.

At this time, The Dorad And Sirius Partnership: Geoffrey Ellis* and Marko Keränen.

*Chakralog writer

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