Saturday, 9 April 2011

TTA and Australia

Thanks to a number of you who have dropped us a line saying that you enjoyed the comic pages that we've put up. We're still trying to find ways to get the comics out there - we believe they're a little bit different from anything that's around at the moment - and we'll keep you posted. And thanks for the complementary things that you've said. We're also hoping to get more artwork - Joachim Darke - lettered and up soon, so you'll be able to read our take on Restoration England. Now some of you have asked what a couple of references in the Space 1949 strip meant and I suppose we've been working on the ideas for so long that we tend to take them for granted. For a start what's the TTA who own the ship that McLean and the others find. This stands for the Terran Trading Authority which is a regulatory body set up in 1925 to control both business and mining interests principally on the Moon but also on the small scientific colonies on Mars and mines in the asteroid belt. It was initially established by Britain and Germany who remain the principal controlling agents in the organisation - King Henry IX of England and the German Kaiser Willhelm V are still the two major shareholders in the TTA - and it is closely connected to the governments of both countries. This makes it a quasi political organisation and although it is principally concerned with trade it has links to the RSC and the Luftwaffe Aeronautik . However since 1946 the balance of power in the TTA has almost imperceptably shifted with the massive strides made by the Russian Simyorska Programme of near-space exploration and the increase in funding of American lunar bases by the CSA President Barry Goldwater in the mid-1940s. 1949 might be a pivotal point for new and emerging space powers. You have also asked about the Australians who are mentioned in the strip. Since the early 1920s, the main threat to world peace has been posed by the PSRA . In 1922, the Australian army seized the running of the country from a pro-British coalition which had governed it since the early 1900s. They installed General Abel Whitlam as President and although the country is nominally run by the People's Democratic Council it is controlled by a mainly army junta. Finances are provided by the still active goldfields ast Ballarat, and it is thought that the country is largely self-sufficient. In 1932, the Whitlam Government signed a treaty with representatives of the Grand Shogun, supreme ruler of the mysterious country of Japan - the Treaty of the Pacific Rim - much to the alarm of both Europe and America. This gave Australia access to the much rumoured "Ninja technology" which is able to shielf machinery and craft from detection through radar and sonar and can reflect light, rendering the subject invisible. They have therefore been able to launch undetected orbital platforms as part of the Australian Space Programme based at Woomera in the South Australian Desert. In 1947, General Whitlam stood down and was replaced as President by General Thomas Dundee who has pursued a more aggressive policy towards the West. He has also increased spending on the space programme launching shielded weapons platforms and space bases from sites in occupied New Zealand. There are also thought to be genetic experiments being conducted in the penal camps of the McQuarrie River Country used to house aborigines, rebels and criminals under the eye of General Charles Minogue, Head of the Interior Directorate. Subjects are being genetically modified, it is believed, to undertake long-haul space flights to Jupiter and beyond. Similar experiments are also believed to be carried on by the TTA in the German Congo in Africa The main face of Australia known in the West is that of Major Rufus Fox, Australian Foreign Secretary, a slick career diplimat who is also believed to be head of A.I.D. - The Australian Intelligence Directorate, the Secret Service - based at Studley Park in Camden, Sidney. Sir Gilbert Rawlings who appears in the panels we've put up is vastly opposed to what he sees as creeping Australian influence across the world and perhaps sees the development of the American space programme, first under President Goldwater and then under his successor President Oliver North, as a counter to it. Sorry if that sounds like a lecture but you did ask and I wanted to show something of the thought we've given to the political set-up of our alternative universe in 1949. We want to keep the sci-fi element - and there are aliens - but we wanted to keep it believable as well. Please let us know what you think of it and if there's any questions you'd like answered. Keep your eyes peeled as there might be more artwork. Next I think, we're off to England in the 1660s. See you there!

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