The Polish magazine Alfa (Alpha) began life in 1976, published by KLA. From
what little I can gather, there seemed to be a number of "comic book" magazines
vying for readership in Poland at the time, and for the firsts few issues, Alfa
was well received and popular. But then for reasons that remain unclear, the
publication schedule faltered badly, and by 1985 and its last issue, only 7
editions had been published.
Alfa appears to have been a little unusual in the marketplace, as it was a
mixture of text (articles and stories) and comic strip stories. During the 7
issues, a number of famous western Science Fiction stories were adapted,
including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World (issue 1) and H.G Wells'
The Invisible Man (issue 3). There also looks to have been some very interesting
home grown material. Issues 1-4 were more aligned toward comic books, while in
the final 3 issues, the magazine took off in a new direction to become more
focused as a popular science publication.
Issue 4 features a long and fascinating adaptation of The War of the Worlds,
written by a J. Milczarek and with art by Waldemar Andrzejewski. This full
colour adaptation looks to be a quite faithful rendering of the story, with
scenes approximating the landing of the first Martian cylinder on Horsell
Common, the attack on Shepperton by Tripods and the trapping of the narrator
and curate beneath a cylinder. The art is vivid and quite visceral in places,
with many scenes of people being incinerated by the heat ray and generally
coming to unpleasant ends. While some might find the art a little scrappy and
the Tripods rather clunky, I personally find this quite different take on the
look of the story to be refreshing.
Unfortunately I cannot as yet comment on the quality of the writing, but if
any readers out there with a command of English and Polish would like to
volunteer their services as translator, I would be delighted to produce an
English language version for download from this website. I will take the
liberty of publishing the entire contents of the Alfa version of The War of
the Worlds here, but if I am treading on any copyright toes, please let me
know and I will remove the material.
Many thanks to Kirill Sutulo for alerting me to the existence of Alfa.
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