New Eagle Times spotlights Dan Dare’s “Lion” days

Eagle Times Volume 30 Issue 2 - Cover

The new Eagle Times – Summer 2017 issue (Volume 30, Part Two) – is out now. Features include “Life After Eagle“, about Dan Dare‘s brief run in Lion, the second part of downthetubes contributor Steve Winders article about Frank Bellamy’s “The Shepherd King”, and an item on science fiction films of the 1950s.

The full rundown of the Eagle Times is as follows:

  • ‘Life after Eagle’ – a recollection of the merged Lion and Eagle from 1969 – 1970 – where “Dan Dar”‘ lived on for a while, albeit as repeats and in black-and-white
  • ‘Hulton’s Boys and Girls Exhibition: 1959’ – a look at the programme of the fourth Hulton’s Boys and Girls Exhibition, held at London’s Olympia in August 1959
  • ‘Remembering Dan Dare: “The Mushroom” – a re-look at a Dan Dare story from Eagle in the mid-1960s, which was drawn by Keith Watson
  • ‘Playful Stories were Frank’s preferred way’ of writing – a look at the humour that Frank Hampson worked into the early stories of Dan Dare
  • ‘Leo Baxendale (1930 – 2017)’ – an obituary of the comic genius who created The Beano’s Bash Street Kids and so many other wonderful characters for DC Thomson and IPC including “Danny Dare for Wham!
  • “The Shepherd King'” Part Two of Steve Winders’ three-part examination of Clifford Makins’ and Frank Bellamy’s strip about the biblical King David, comparing Eagle’s strip with biblical accounts of David’s life
  • ‘Eagle Society Gathering, 2017’: A photo-illustrated report on this year’s Eagle Society Annual Gathering and Dinner, which were held in April at The Queen Hotel, Chester
  • ‘In and Out of the Eagle‘: Two further instalments in the series presenting collections of Eagle-related snippets
  • He Tried to Stop You Reading Eagle – Leonard Matthews’, Part Three: concluding the three-part adjunct to Roger Perry’s series, ‘They Helped to Bring You Eagle
  • “The Road of Courage” – an appreciation and an ethnic criticism of Eagle‘s back-page story of Jesus as told by Marcus Morris and drawn by Frank Hampson
  • ‘Space Fiction Movies in Eagle’s Times’, Part Two: a look at films about space exploration and alien visitations to the earth, the bread-and-butter of the Eagle’s Dan Dare’s adventures between 1950 and 1969. This part covers 1954-1956, including Conquest of Space, and Forbidden Planet
  • ‘Nelson’s Ladies’ – a follow-up to the article on Eagle‘s story “Nelson, The Great Sailor”, in the Spring 2016 issue, this takes look at Nelson’s women as depicted in Comet in 1955 and later in Thriller Picture Library 
  • “PC 49’s Last Case”, Part One – beginning a new story, based on the characters originally created for the radio series by Alan Stranks
  • “Dan Dare – Requiem, Revival or Reboot”? Is it time to say goodbye to Frank Hampson’s creation, or time to try something new?
  • Two Tributes: Martin Aitchison and Howard Corn
  • “Eagle Times – What’s Next?” As we near the completion of 30 years of Eagle Times, the editors seeks the views of members on the future of the Eagle Society’s journal

As noted above, the issue includes the final part of the late Roger Perry’s feature about publishing Leonard Matthews, a controversial figure in the history of Eagle. Unfortunately, the article touches on Roger’s oft-repeated claims that Matthews regularly commissioned duplicate art, a claim challenged by numerous British comics experts and, today, denied by Roger’s source for the claim.

Roger was, at one time, very sure about this claim but when we first published a series of articles by this veteran of British comics on downthetubes, crammed with wonderful anecdotes about Eagle and Girl editorial office antics, it became clear there was no  evidence for Roger’s allegations. Some of our final correspondence before his death led me to decide to excise this aspect of his otherwise entertaining features from his downthetubes features.

I’m told the next Eagle Times will feature a note on this controversy next issue and set matters straight. I’m sure that for many Eagle and Dan Dare fans this may seem a minor matter and certainly shouldn’t detract from the rest of the issue, but as one of the editors who at one time also got caught up in Roger’s conspiracy theory, the Eagle Times team have my sympathies!

• Ordering and subscription details can be found at eagle-times.blogspot.co.uk

With thanks to Steve Winders

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

%d bloggers like this: