Reverse the Polarity! 25

Before anything else can be said about the latest issue of RTP, heartfelt congratulations on the silver issue and tenth year of publication has to come first.  Important milestones of which everyone involved should feel justifiably proud and deserving.  God rest ye, merry gentlemen! 

In the always entertaining letters page David Ronayne makes an impassioned, and as it happens successful, case for dropping the ‘alternative NZ Doctor Who Fanzine’ from the masthead.  It’s a good letter, but untimely for my review because given that the ‘other’ New Zealand Fanzine celebrated a significantly numbered issue and very important birthday, and saw its release on practically the same day as RTP 25, it’s very difficult not to make comparisons.
So I’ll refrain, except to say that I have always seen the ‘alternative’ moniker in the same context as ‘alternative lifestyle’ or ‘music’ without ever having thought of RTP as a specific ‘alternative’ to the other three-lettered Fanzine.  It just isn’t.
So having established what RTP 25 isn’t, what does it offer?A great Cyber-head on the cover, for one, proving that simple is often best.  Interesting how the shape of the ‘jug handles’ subtly echoes the RTP logo – just lovely.I’m running out of good things to say about Peter Adamson’s Cydonia, the current instalment of which concludes in this issue.  Adamson’s use of black and white (without ever having to hide behind mid-tones as some of us do) is exquisite, and if the anatomy is sometimes a little too stylised, the always-stunning composition of frames and pages more than compensate.  The one page ‘preface’ offers an absorbing and concise account of the history of this wonderful strip, without ever sounding self-congratulatory – although it has every right to be.I couldn’t believe my luck to find another David Ronayne Torchwood article, and enjoyed it even more than his first one.  The tone is positive and as well-reasoned as ever, even if once again I couldn’t agree with everything.  I might be straying dangerously close to a comparison to say that this coverage of Torchwood is one of RTP’s extremely welcome points of difference.Some may find the substantial TARDIS Tales material a little too much of a good thing, although I couldn’t resist the warm nostalgic glow that long-ago tales of Saucer imparts, and my admiration for Graham’s work has been increased by this look at the man behind the chicken.  Whether by accident or design, the Christmas-related illustrations lend RTP 25 a very welcome festive feel, which a sentimental old fool like me always appreciates.I noted with some amusement that the interviewers name shares equal billing with the interviewee on the excellent Fandom Paradox piece, but in reading it I see that this is fully justified.  Full marks to Peter for wording questions which are equally as interesting as Kelly’s answers!AH

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