The first issue of the Dan Dare-inspired title Spaceship Away for 2019 – Issue 47 – is available now, featuring front and back covers, and a centre spread, by veteran artist Don Harley.
Don of course worked on the original “Dan Dare” adventures for Eagle and became the backbone of the strip, especially during Hampson’s periods of illness, and worked with Hampson, Eric Eden and Joan Porter until the studio was disbanded in 1959 after Odhams Press took over the paper.
He remained on the strip for a time, drawing the second page while Frank Bellamy did the first, from scripts by Eric Eden. After a year, Bellamy left the strip and Harley became the lead artist, assisted by Bruce Cornwell, until 1962 when the new team of writer David Motton and artist Keith Watson took over.
His other credits include “Beth Lawson” for Princess and illustration work for Treasure in the 1960s, “Thunderbirds” for Countdown in the early 1970s, and work for nursery comics in the 1980s. He has also contributed several art works to Spaceship Away since it began.
This much-loved artist is the focus of the issue’s main article, the first part of “The Don Harley Story” by Alan Vince, which describes Don’s “Dan Dare” years, with many unseen studio-posed photographs. Part Two will continue in the summer issue of Spaceship Away.
The Dan Dare strip “Shakedown Cruise” by Tim Booth hots up this issue, with plenty of action for Dan and company and the issue also includes another four pages of “Operation Pintos” – and John Russell Fearn’s The Golden Amazon saga continues with “The Undersea Quest”, Part Two, drawn by Ron Turner and coloured by Martin Baines.
Features this issue are more “Space News”, with up-to-date reviews by Ray Wright, while Andrew Darlington re-reads a series of space adventure novels published in the 1950s, that explore the Moon, Mars and other worlds.
“Frontiers of Space” also continues, as well as the magazine’s humour strip, “Earthward Bound”.
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