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September 17, 2009

Princess Powerful Attacks: Red Dwarf Comics

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It all started in the early 1990’s. Taking a break from cleaning my bedroom, I tuned in to HDS (Hell Dimension Service) to see what was on.  The show I tuned in to was Red Dwarf.  This was my first obsession before my current long term obsession.

Red Dwarf was created by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor.  It started out as a reoccurring sketch called Dave Hollins: Space Cadet on the show Son of Cliché in the mid 1980’s.  In 1988, the basis from the sketch was made into a television series called Red Dwarf for BBC 2 .  There are eight Series/Seasons of Red Dwarf spanning from 1988-1999, and a new special called Back To Earth that premiered in 2009.

The sci-fi show is about a man named David Lister who is suspended in animation for bringing his pregnant cat Frankenstein on board the mining ship Red Dwarf. Lister was frozen for 3 million years because of a radiation leak, that killed all the crew members. Lister is accompanied by Cat, an evolved offspring of Frankenstein, and a hologram of Arnold J. Rimmer, a crew mate aboard Red Dwarf.

The show’s journey begins when the main cast tries to fulfill Lister’s desire to return to Earth.  They encounter many different phenomena, like time distortions or mutated diseases, along the way.
Red Dwarf has had spin offs in the form of two novels, three magazines, a comic, and a television pilot for the U.S called Red Dwarf USA.

Cover of Vol. 2 Issue #4

Cover of Vol. 2 Issue #4

Red Dwarf Magazine (later changed to Smegazine)

Contents: News, reviews, competitions, and comic strips.  The comic strips featured episode adaptations and original material.

Publisher: Fleetway Editions

Publication Date: 3/1992-9/1994

Issues: Vol. 1 #1-14 ;  Vol. 2 #1-9

Price: £1.50 (yearly subscriptions- £18.00;  £2.00 Back issues)

Reason of cancellation: Fleetway Editions wanted to concentrate on other publications.

Finding the magazine: It’s  possible to collect issues of the Red Dwarf Magazine/Smegazine, but because it’s a book that’s out of print, the price range will vary higher than its original price of £1.50 from places like ebay.

Cover of Issue #20

Cover of Issue #20

Title: Red Dwarf: Better Than Life

Contents: News, Competitions, Episode discussion, Editorials , reviews, activities, Gazpacho Soup Day (in honor)

Publisher: Official Red Dwarf Fan Club

Publication Date Began: Autumn 1990

Issues: 52

Price: £0.00 (Only available for Red Dwarf fan club members)

FanClub Membership fee: £13-19

Finding the magazine: It’s made available on the Red Dwarf Fan Club website.

Side Notes: It is written and managed by fans.


Back To Reality Cover for Issue #1

Title: Red Dwarf: Back To Reality

Content: News, reviews, features, competitions, posters

Publisher: Official Red Dwarf Fan Club

Publication Date: April 2009

Issues: 1 (#2 and 3 will be out in the next couple of months)

Price: £0.00 (only available for Red Dwarf fan club members)

Fan Club Membership fee: £13-19

Finding the Magazine: It’s available through the Official Red Dwarf Fan club website

Side Notes: The magazine is a re-launch from the re-launched Official Red Dwarf Fan Club under a new name and form.

Prelude to Nanarchy Cover

Prelude to Nanarchy Cover

Title: Prelude to Nanarchy

Writer: Andrew Ellard

Pencils: David Enebral

Colors: Barry Williams

Inker: Mar Degano

Publisher: Grant Naylor Productions & Across the Pond Comics

Release Date: October 1 2005

Price: £0.00

Pages: 8

Side Note: It was published once per day on the Official Red Dwarf website in 2005.  The story discussed what happened between Series 5 and Series 6.  It was considered canon until the special Back To Earth premiered.  In the special, Cat claimed that he brought the elation squid back from the ocean planet they visited (Series 5, Episode 6).

Art: There are no variations of line thickness for the images, but since I have seen worse, it’s not that bad. I’m mostly drawn to the pages due to the color palette.  The wide range of bright futuristic colors draws me into the book. However, the comic panels feel a little static and I feel it didn’t take full advantage of space.

Comments: The story was interesting.  Cat needed a hug and Rimmer needed a good slap. But I love those two characters so I’d have fun doing both.  It’s a good read despite whether or not it’s canon due to the Back To Earth special.

(Click Images to Enlarge)


Red Dwarf has a special place in my heart.    It’s hilarious, absurd, and occasionally confusing at times.  The Red Dwarf time line is full of multiple paradoxes which oddly helps glue their universe together.  In some ways all the characters have flaws, which others joke about at the person’s expense.  Getting to know the characters through back story and character development helped me grow attached to the cast.  Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I searched online for Red Dwarf instead of Buffy the Vampire Slayer when I first got the internet.


To the left, I  posted some images of what I learned from re-watching Series/Season 1.   I had fun doing this review, and I hope you had fun reading it.

Have a Souper Day!

Princess Powerful



  1. Very informative piece Princess! I look forward to reading about your other geeky obsessions!

  2. “in 1995” – I think you’re about a decade out with the Prelude release date! 🙂

    “[T]he images were scaled down too small and the text was illegible” Probably worth revisiting the comic online – every individual panel could be clicked in the Viewer to see it at full size. There’s a ‘Help’ icon on the comic viewer if you get stuck.

    BTW, the club magazine Better Than Life ran for 52 issues. It was replaced this year with Back to Reality, a pretty ground-up reboot.

  3. Princess Powerful

    *__* My mind has been blown. *balloons and streamers pop out*

    Sorry about that. I got my info from the Tongue Tied wiki. I think they need to change that to 1995 lol. It really confused me seeing as how it bridged series 5 and 6 together yet came out after the series had ended.

    Thank you for telling me about Better Than Life. I was searching forever for info and would always come up dry or with old info.

    Wow, so Back to Reality is a boot up? I saw ads for it but I thought it was just a special magazine, not a boot up! (*in shock*)

    I’ll see if I can do an edit and revision. Thank you for your info, it really helped a lot! 🙂

  4. Princess Powerful

    Sorry scratch the thing about the prelude release in my comment. lol. It’s apparently a typo XD Ok, I’m extra embarrassed now *blushes*

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