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On The Beach comic panels

Posted December 4, 2013 into Comics by John Birmingham

I must confess to never having read Neville Shute's famous end of the world novel, or having seen the movie or the TV mini series. And yet it looms large in my pop cultural imagination all the same. Now, thanks to a link I saw the other day (and a source I promptly forgot, sorry) I need feel the shame no longer.

On the Beach, the very abbreviated comic novel.

14 Responses to ‘On The Beach comic panels’

Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted December 4, 2013

Somehow or another I managed to read the novel, see the Gregory Peck version then stumble across the Australian miniseries version on YouTube a few years ago. Each has their strengths and weaknesses though I prefer the novel myself overall.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Dino not to be confused with mutters...

Posted December 4, 2013

Hi Murph,

They were talking on the radio about a new documentary thats just come out about the making of the film.

Apparently the author wasn't happy with the film.

I still haven't read it. On my list. The author was an engineer originally.

What's going on in Fukushima with the rod 'removal'?

All very quiet there.

Like the streets of Melbourne on a Sunday a few years ago.

Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted December 5, 2013

Worth reading but if you are pressed for time I'd go with the Gregory Peck film.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Stuart reckons...

Posted December 4, 2013

Off topic, but I suspect it wouldn't get noticed in the Ghengis book club thread.

Who would win: Alexander vs. Ghengis:

http://www.quora.com/Genghis-Khan/Who-would-win-on-an-open-field-with-equal-numbers-for-their-army-Genghis-Khan-or-Alexander-the-Great

Brian is gonna tell you...

Posted December 4, 2013

Genghiz. Equal numbers are meaningless in this context. A 100 percent cavalry army equipped with stirrups, recurve bows and Chinese steel armour? Versus a mostly infantry phalanx, with inferior armour, low cavalry without stirrups, and low archer support. Cavalry with stirrups by itself lends a two to one force advantage in a lance duel. Mongol recurves with a a force advantage five times range and penetrating power with armour piercing heads.

The Parthans repeatedly chewed up Roman infantry armies, and they did it without stirrups,inferior recurves and poorer armour.Alexander's head would have been mounted outside the Khans tent in short order.

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Surtac would have you know...

Posted December 4, 2013

B*gger. Can't follow JB's link from here in the work bunker. I read the book many years ago but haven't seen the film or the mini-series. Iirc I thought No Highway was a better book, but maybe it's time to re-read On the Beach.

Stuart, nice link. Thanks for that. I totally agree with the conclusions, given how easily and comprehensively the Mongols chewed up contemporay European forces on their forays west.

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yankeedog is gonna tell you...

Posted December 4, 2013

JB, I'm a bit surprised you've not read the book. It's something of the opposite of most post-apocalypse works-instead of the petrol gangs and civilization unraveling, it generally shows a civilization that, seeing its end coming, decides to go with some dignity.

I recommend the old Gregory Peck/Ava Gardner film version as well-it shows a lot of the grand old Australian stereotypes ('Waltzing Matilda' and all that). It was filmed in Melbourne-fortunately, a Havock-less Melbourne because he'd have tried to start a Mad-Max style road gang before succumbing to cobalt, strontium, plutonium, and a lot of other things that end in '-ium'.

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w from brisbane swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 4, 2013

Book, Movie, Mini Series........& now a 2013 Documentary.
"FALLOUT" by Australian filmmaker Lawrence Johnston; about Nevil Shute, the book "On the Beach" and the making of the film.
It is a good doco, they say.

Theatrical trailer for the doco.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0AG6vDIxrc

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Rob ducks in to say...

Posted December 4, 2013

those comics are amazingly well made. wish I could do that.

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robW ducks in to say...

Posted December 5, 2013

I read the novel (and a few of his others) back in college in the early 70s. It was a 'wow' experience at the time, but then again, kids were still ducking under tables in atomic bomb drills, there were fallout shelter signs on every other corner, and a novel had to sell over a 500,000 copies to qualify as a best seller.

For me books like this and so many other SF books I once thought were great suffer from a 'technology' gap. In 1990 Olaf Stapledon's 1944 "Sirius" or John Campbell's 1938 "Who Goes There?" or even Arthur C. Clark's 1948 "The Sentinel" could be read without any serious sense of disconnect. The stories themselves might have been 30, 40, or 50 years old, but they were still fresh and there wasn't any obvious setting or storyline issue that screamed "this is out of place"!

Today the technology disconnect pops like a jack-in-the-box on tales older than a decade or so. I watch a thriller from 1975 or 1985 and my first thought when the damsel is in distress is why she doesn't dial 911 on her cell phone. The 911 operators will have her on a map in 3 seconds and her credit report in 5. Cops will be on location in 6 minutes, and a fire truck will be on the scene in 8. Shute's "On the Beach" pivots on a morse code radio signal from Seattle; nevermind a survivor sending an e-mail or dialing up using a satellite phone. All those books about alien contact? Why don't they just send a connection to or a download of their "galactic internet" and save all that paper expended on the Encyclopedia Galactica? And what's with all that cigarette and pipe-smoking action in those books and films? I end up thinking about the stink of tobacco more than being lulled into the scene by all the cigarette action and the snapping of Zippo lighters.

So yes, "On the Beach" was a very good and thrilling book. Then the real world happened and it all went away.

Lulu puts forth...

Posted December 5, 2013

"I watch a thriller from 1975 or 1985 and my first thought when the damsel is in distress is why she doesn't dial 911 on her cell phone. "

Have you seen the 50s film Rififi? The whole climax depends on someone not being able to get to a phone in time.

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robW puts forth...

Posted December 5, 2013

P.S. A book along the lines of "On the Beach" that *still* works in my opinion is Will Brinkley's 1988 "The Last Ship." The opening battle scene of a missile cruiser launching its nukes is a real nailer. It was his last novel before he died in '93, and certainly his most lasting one. I've seen that it is being made into a 10-episode series by TNT and will be aired in spring of 2014.

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted December 5, 2013

The Australian mini-series used a solar powered laptop to periodically send data fragments which prompted the crew of the U.S. Sub to make their way to Alaska if memory serves. They find some poor mumified Australian blonde there who had taken a dose of something washed down with a bottle of coke. The sun would hit the solar panel prompting the transfer.

A plausible solution to the dated nature of the technology from the original source material.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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robW reckons...

Posted December 29, 2013

Had a brainwave: plot suggestion. Flip the concept. Reverse the Australia/North America scenario.

As when we have the dramatic moment when the hero will gladly give/sacrifice his life to save the child/girl/woman/innocent, set up the story to put Australia in that place. How would Washington or Europe respond if a gun were to the head of Australia? Would they capitulate?

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