Thursday, June 24, 2010

Foreign Favorites: Perry Rhodan

The most popular science fiction strip to come out of Germany, Perry Rhodan im Bild (Perry Rhodan in Pictures) debuted in 1968, following closely the novels of the immortal Terran Overlord, drawn by Kurt Caesar. With a large and complicated cast of characters, after twenty seven issues the feature was streamlined and renamed to Perry, in an effort to bring in new readers not familiar with the earlier books. Drawn now in a bolder "Marvel Comics" style, the new look was illustrated by Italian artist Giorgio Gambiotti from the Giolitti Studio in Rome, with some innovating sleek compositions. With many of these later stories written by Dirk Hess, Perry traveled the universe accompanied by a collection of beautiful women which helped it to be reprinted in Italy, France, and Israel. At the height of its popularity, Perry was released in movies, television, and long-playing records in Germany. But after one hundred twenty nine issues, Perry, like other German comics, became victim to the higher costs of production with its last stellar issue hitting the newsstands in the summer of 1975. Fortunately, I've heard from a friend recently that the fan-favorite title is now back in print with all new adventures.

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