Peter Hampson and Stephen Whittle at the launch of “Frank Hampson – The Man Who Drew Dan Dare” at the Atkinson, Southport. Image courtesy The Atkinson

Dan Dare and Frank Hampson Centenary Exhibitions Closing Soon

Peter Hampson and Stephen Whittle at the launch of “Frank Hampson – The Man Who Drew Dan Dare” at the Atkinson, Southport. Image courtesy The Atkinson
Peter Hampson and Stephen Whittle at the launch of “Frank Hampson – The Man Who Drew Dan Dare” at the Atkinson, Southport. Image courtesy The Atkinson

Two Frank Hampson Centenary exhibitions, one at The Atkinson in Southport, the other at Bourne Hall in Ewell, are both coming to an end in March. Time’s running out if you haven’t seen them yet.

Frank Hampson – The Man Who Drew Dan Dare
Image courtesy The Atkinson
Richard Sheaf at the Frank Hampson Centenary Exhibition at Bourne Hall. Photo: David Broughton
downthetubes contributor Richard Sheaf at the Frank Hampson Centenary Exhibition at Bourne Hall. Photo: David Broughton

And while we’re talking about Frank, his son, Peter Hampson, has pointed us in the direction of a new book by John Wade, entitled The Golden Age of Science Fiction.  published by Pen & Sword, it concentrates on 1950s SF and covers radio, TV, books, comics and film.

Eagle and Dan Dare are substantially featured in the book, together with copious illustrations and a host of other interesting information,” Peter notes.The Golden Age of Science Fiction: A Journey into Space with 1950s Radio, TV, Films, Comics and BooksThe 1950s has been dubbed the “golden age of science fiction”. It was a wonderful decade for science fiction, but not so great for young fans. With early television broadcasts being advertised for the first time as “unsuitable for children” and the inescapable barrier of the ‘X’ certificate in the cinema barring anyone under the age of sixteen, John Wade had only the radio to fall back on – and that turned out to be more fertile for the budding SF fan than might otherwise have been thought.

Which is probably why, as he grew older, rediscovering those old TV broadcasts and films that had been out of bounds when he was a kid took on a lure that soon became an obsession. For him, the super-accuracy and amazing technical quality of today’s science fiction films pale into insignificance beside the radio, early TV and B-picture films about people who built rockets in their back gardens and flew them to lost planets, or tales of aliens who wanted to take over, if not our entire world, then at least our bodies.

The Golden Age of Science Fiction is a personal account of the author’s fascination with the genre across all the entertainment media in which it appeared – the sort of stuff he loved as a young boy – and still enjoys today.

• Frank Hampson Centenary Exhibition Tuesday to Saturday 9.00am – 5.00pm until 12th March 2019, Bourne Hall Museum, Spring Street, Ewell, Surrey KT17 1UF | More about the Museum on the Epsom and Ewell Borough Council web site here – the nearest station is West Ewell – check out out Richard Sheaf’s review here

Frank Hampson – The Man Who Drew Dan Dare. Image courtesy The Atkinson
Image courtesy The Atkinson

• There’s a brief guide to Frank Hampson’s Epsom connections here on the Epsom and Ewell History Explorer web site

• The Official Frank Hampson web site is at frankhampsonartwork.co.uk

• In Pictures: The Frank Hampson Centenary Exhibition at The Atkinson, Southport

• There’s also an album of photographs of the Southport exhibition here on the downthetubes Facebook page

• Frank Hampson – The Man Who Drew Dan Dare – runs until Saturday 16th March 2019 – For more about the exhibition visit The Atkinson web site

The Golden Age of Science Fiction is available from all good bookshops (Amazon affiliate link)

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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