No. 210 – Spirit of St. Louis

Interstellar Queen image ©The Quarto Group

Van Hertz Line freighter Spirit of St. Louis from Moon Runners [or Moonrunners] (progs 591607 (1988)), written by Steve Parkhouse and Alan McKenzie and drawn by Massimo Belardinelli (1938–2007) v Interstellar Queen (1978) by Angus McKie from Spacecraft 2000 to 2100 AD (Chartwell Books, 1978) by Stewart Cowley from his Terran Trade Authority illustrated science fiction book series[1]

Heavy Metal (1981)

If you’ve ever picked up a sci-fi novel from the ’70s or ’80s, chances are its cover was painted by influential science fiction illustrator Angus McKie, known for his highly detailed spacecraft, futuristic constructions and vivid colours. McKie was also writer, designer and background artist on the Heavy Metal (Columbia Pictures, 1981) segment So Beautiful and So Dangerous, adapted from his story of the same name (1979) in US sci-fi/fantasy comics magazine Heavy Metal – not to mention being a long-time colourist attached to 2000 AD[2], thereby delivering this particular homage comfortably within the “borrowed with permission” bracket.

The Moon Runners‘ spacecraft, Spirit of St. Louis, is named after Charles Lindbergh’s (1902–1974) custom built, single engine monoplane[3] in which he flew on the world’s first non-stop, solo transatlantic flight from New York to Paris in 1927.

Angus McKie also features in HoH No. 191 – The Valley of Gwangi

Notes:

  1. Spacecraft 2000 to 2100 AD of the Terran Trade Authority series was followed by Great Space Battles [with Charles Herridge] (Chartwell Books, 1979), Spacewreck: Ghostships [sic] and Derelicts of Space (The Hamlyn Group, 1979), and Starliners: Commercial Spacetravel [sic] in 2200 AD (The Hamlyn Group, 1980)
  2. Along with – at least for a brief stint – contempory sci-fi illustrator Chris Foss (covers: progs 953955, and prog 953’s Judge Dredd story Jigsaw)
  3. Not the Pennsylvania Railroad passenger train, which was named after the plane in the same year

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No. 152 – Accountant Yorga, Vampire

Prog 932’s (1995) Brigand Doom cover by Paul Johnson featuring vampire accountant Yorga v Count Yorga (aka. “the Deathmaster”) portrayed by Robert Quarry (1925–2009) in Count Yorga, Vampire [also known as The Loves of Count Iorga, Vampire] (AIP, 1970) and The Return of Count Yorga (AIP, 1971)

Vlad III of Wallachia image courtesy British Museum

The moustache worn by Brigand Doom’s Yorga isn’t too far off the mark in appearance, as the antagonist of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula (Constable & Robinson Ltd., 1897) is described by Jonathan Harker in his journal as a “tall old man, clean shaven, save for a long white moustache and clad in black from head to foot, without a single speck of colour about him anywhere.” [p.21]

Vlad III of Wallachia [region in modern Romania], known as Vlad the Impaler [Romanian: Vlad Țepeș] or Vlad Dracula (1428-31–1476/77), considered by many historians to be the model for Stoker’s Count Dracula*, also sported a moustache.

The tag line “Interview with the Accountant” is an homage to Neil Jordan’s Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (Warner Bros., 1994), based on the novel Interview with the Vampire (Knopf, 1976) by Anne Rice [born Howard Allen Frances O’Brien, 1941].

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*There is in fact no historical evidence to support this

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