Reverse The Polarity! Issue 27

Media Circus

RTP 27 is a sweet, quivering three layer Christmas trifle, substantial but never stodgy, with the triad of main features interspersed with delicious cartoon fillings. Once again RTP effortlessly reminds us of how fandom can, and should be fun. And speaking of which, it’s indescribably wonderful to see Herr Karkus back, but, um, didn’t he die? No matter, never look a gift Teutonic uberhero in the mouth, especially at Christmas time. A Robogron is a brilliant idea which might have formed the basis of an entire strip in the hands of a lesser artist, but Erato just casually sprinkles it on top of a cartoon adventure already rich with originality

I read the new series retrospective feature fully anticipating annoyance at the usual petulant RTD bashing which seems part of a Fan’s mission statement these days, or boredom at having read it all before – but was delighted to find that I couldn’t have been more wrong. In fact, I believe fans should instead make it part of their mission statement to read this article – the most well-reasoned, balanced and insightful of its kind which I’ve seen anywhere. Special thanks to David Lawrence who convincingly reminds us of how wonderful Eccleston’s brief portrayal was, before having its memory all but swamped by Tennant’s ‘in-ya-face’ interpretation.

My only gripe would be the unlovely section headings, and the similarly baffling typography which continues into the following Torchwood article by David Ronayne. But what an article; again proving my huffy expectations of another RTD effort being brusquely dismissed to be all for nought. David, please send your alternate series 2 outline to the production office, they need – or needed, you! Personally, I’d love to see more writing like this. Ronayne seems to have an excellent grasp of what makes Torchwood tick and his series 2 makes fascinating reading when juxtaposed with what we actually got. Or am I missing the point of an extremely clever joke? With RTP you can’t always be too sure…

This brings me to the last (actually the first) of the big three articles – the final part of the extensive look at Graham Muir’s cartoon creations. Reading this I was reminded of a documentary I once saw at a film festival, about Lighthouses. Been taken to beacons all over the world by a softly spoken Norwegian narrator for two hours could have been as gruelling as waiting for Return of the King to reach it’s own final credits, but instead I found it mesmerising and all these years later, still unforgettable. What really distinguishes this article is the look at Graham’s own creative processes, well-illustrated by a ‘digital recreation’ of an unfinished Saucer strip. Fantastic stuff which really beings the subject alive. The revelation that TSV‘s special anniversary issue last year could have been graced with an exclusive Tardis Tale (but didn’t for reasons poignantly explained by Graham), adds a closing sense of regret to this series of articles.

Although perceptibly affected by the unfortunate postponement of Garry Jackson’s next comic strip instalment, RTP 27 is packed with fabulous art and writing from Ood to Adipose, and once again ushers in the festive season in style.


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