The older I get, the more appealing nostalgia becomes and the more I yearn for the much simpler era of my childhood and youth. I’m not naïve enough to believe that the past was all wine gums and rose flavoured candies, because I know all too well that the memory can be a devious devil and favours the moments it cherished over those it loathed, but even taking that into account, it doesn’t change the fact that being young was far less complicated and arduous than being an adult. Yesterday really was better than today and I’m willing to bet ten pristine packets, complete with the harder than adamantium pink bubble-gum, of Tops Stars Wars cards that it’ll be better than tomorrow too. That feeling of longing for yesteryear is almost certainly the reason I that I look forward to every issue of Retrofan with sheer, unadulterated joy, because I know that it’s pages will transport me back to the time my psyche longs for better than any Mr Coffeefied, plutonium powered DeLorean ever could. This morning, the fourth issue of Retrofan turned up in my inbox and despite the fact that I should have been doing a hundred other vitality important in the real world things, I opened the first page and spent the rest of the day immersed in the cultural phenomena of the sixties, seventies and early eighties. Today was, as Ice Cube once said, a good day.
With Shazam about to hit big screens the world over, Retrofan suits up, utters its magic word and takes an incredibly detailed and extensive look at the televisual and merchandising history of DC’s Captain Marvel. It’s the history lesson that you never knew you wanted, or needed, that leaves a smile a mile wide on your face while you desperately try to track down the shows and some of the less expensive collectables online. Then it’s deep dive time, and when I say deep I mean Titanic resting on the bottom of the ocean deep*, Retrofan style as they explore Sam “Flash Gordon’ J. Jones sojourn into the world of Will Eisner’s Spirit, take a look at the mythology of Thunderbirds, open the book on the pier end amusement park that was supposed (and failed) to challenge Disneyland, plunge headlong into the mystery of the Green Hornet and let Ernest Farino take centre stage to tell Ray Harryhausen’s story in a deeply moving and personal account of their endearing friendship. Oh, and they also take a trip to the original Star Trek set tour before adding a cherry to the top of this incredibly indulgent sundae with the usual features that celebrate collectors and their collections and the fads that time tried, but couldn’t quite manage, to forget. Retrofan is like that a good bottle of bourbon. It’s just keeps getting better and better the older it gets. Retro-tastic… Tim Cundle
*Which is really, really deep