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The Comic Strip Companion: the Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Doctor Who in Comics: 1964 - 1979 Paperback – 30 Sep 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Telos Publishing Ltd (30 Sept. 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 1845830709
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845830700
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 2 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 455,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paul Scoones was born in London, England in 1968 but has lived in Auckland, New Zealand since 1973. His interest in the BBC television series Doctor Who led him to establish a New Zealand fan club. He established an award-winning journal (Time Space Visualiser) and edited most of its 76 issues. Paul helped discover a film of a lost Doctor Who episode 'The Lion' (episode 1 of 'The Crusade') and arranged its return to the BBC in 1999. He now writes professionally about this series, including production information subtitles for the BBC range of Doctor Who DVDs., and can be seen on several Doctor Who DVDs, discussing finding a missing episode and commenting on the comic strips. His first professionally-published book is 'The Comic Strip Companion: 1964-1979'.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Allan Harvey on 27 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback
Paul Scoones's very entertaining and enlightening book takes a long, detailed look at the story of the Doctor Who comic strip. While the TV series began in November 1963, it was just one year later that everyone's favourite Time Lord began appearing in the pages of TV Comic. Not that the strip had a great deal of similarity to the show that spawned it, but it must have been reasonably successful as it continued, through the likes of Countdown and TV Action, until 1979. That is the point at which Scoones stops -- presumably the Doctor's revival as the star of his own weekly/monthly comic, and then full-fledged magazine, will form the basis of a second volume.

The book has a lot of background detail, referencing correspondence between the BBC and publishers and this is often fascinating. The artists and writers are credited, where known, and each story is provided with a plot review and personal appraisal by Scoones. He also offers detailed notes on continuity issues, art inconsistencies, and where the strips sit in the chronology of the TV show. The Doctor Who Annuals and Dalek spin-offs get their own sections.

While the book is light on illustrations, and there are no strip reproductions at all, there is a lovely 8-page colour section showcasing the best comic and Annual covers.

For fans of Doctor Who looking for something a bit different, and especially fans of comics history, this is a very worthwhile purchase. However, it probably works best if you're already familiar with the comics themselves.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. K. Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback
Perhaps because comic strips, particularly the ones detailed in this book, have often been viewed as ephemeral, there hasn't been a great deal published in the past about this part of Doctor Who's history.

Paul Scoones' new book more than makes up for that ommission, weighing in at over 600 pages it is an exhaustive account of the Doctor's comic strip adventures, both in TV Comic and later in Countdown and TV Action, as well as the World Distributors annuals, not to mention the Dalek Strips in TV21.

After an introduction that details how TV Comic came to be awarded the rights to produce a Doctor Who strip in the first place, Scoones takes us strip by strip through all the stories produced in TV Comic/Countdown/TV Action, from the Klepton Parasites in 1964 to Size Control in 1979.

After that story, Polystyle Publications who published TV Comic lost the rights for the Doctor Who strip. Marvel UK were in the process of launching a Doctor Who comic, and successfully negotiated the rights away from Polystyle. But that is a whole new story, one which hopefully Scoones will chronicle in a future volume.

Coming back to this book, each story has a brief synopsis, publication date, artist/writer info and general notes which point out any interesting background detail.

After the last Tom Baker story in 1979 is discussed, the book moves on to cover the Doctor's adventures in the 60's and 70's annuals and then the Daleks solo appearances, first in the pages of TV21 and then in their own annuals of the 1970's.

This is primarily a text-based book, although there are eight colour pages in the middle with pictures of various Doctor Who comic strip covers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Simmons on 9 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback
Information about the Doctor Who strips published by TV Comic in the sixties and seventies is very difficult to come by. The strips have rarely been reprinted; Doctor Who Magazine has only published a handful of articles of the subject in the last thirty years; even the 'Doctor Who Classic Comics' magazine was limited to a handful of editorial pages. So a volume like this is a godsend to anyone interested in those stories.

Unlike books about the tv series, the volume has to present material about its subject matter without assuming that the reader has ever had sight of the strips. Fifteen years of Doctor Who strips, spanning 4 Doctors, are almost unobtainable without spending a fortune on eBay.

The author manages this presentation very well. However, as this is a Telos volume, and the author really knows his stuff, this is more than a collection of story summaries. Each story is analysed, where possible, original production paperwork is discussed, as is the context of each strip. In many ways, it helps to challenge the view that the TV Comic strips are a poor collection of stories that do not deserve a second airing.

This volume helps bring to life its subject matter. Now if only the current rights holder to the strips could be persuaded to begin a series of reprints...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Paul Scoones' intelligent, meticulously researched book covers the history of 'Dr.Who' comic-strips from 'T.V. Comic' in 1964 to 1979, taking in along the way a welcome diversion to 'Countdown' ( later to become 'T.V. Action' ). Annuals are also included. It is pleasing to see the author refraining from using sarcasm, a failing of many 'Who' related books. Many strips are better than their reputation would suggest; for instance, 'Time In Reverse' is an ingenious tale where the Doctor and his friends arrive at the end of an adventure, and have to work their way back to the beginning. But it is where 'Countdown' where the series really starts to come to life, with dynamic stories illustrated by the likes of Gerry Haylock. The expression 'labour of love' comes to mind when assessing this book. It is frustrating that the entire run of strips is, at the present time, unavailable in print. However, some are online if you know where to look.
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