The new Eagle Times, the magazine of the Eagle Society, is out now, arriving ahead of schedule, and leads with a relatively rare and candid interview with 2000AD, Eagle and Commando writer Alan Hebden, which makes for an interesting read.
Talking to downthetubes contributor Steve Winders, the interview largely focuses on his work for New Eagle – this is, after all, an Eagle-oriented zine – outlining how such a strip was created – particularly “The Tower King“, a story that Jim Duckett explores in depth elsewhere in the magazine.
Alan also talks about his favourite comic work and a little about his delight that his 2000AD story “Death Planet“, featured the first female lead in the title, and how he would like to write more stories with a strong female lead, which of course we also saw in his other much-praised story, “Mind Wars“, for Starlord, which was recently re-published over two collections given away with Judge Dredd Megazine (but is surely well deserving of an album collection).
Dan Dare is featured in two articles: the first, a spotlight on the Phant war drum from the “Rogue Planet“, while Ernest Reed’s examination of “The Phantom Fleet” concludes with more fantastic “storyboard art”. This series of features has offered a fascinating background on the creation of the story, with access to editorial memos and more. If Titan Comics ever reprint the story, let’s hope they contact Ernest about the possibility of including the material.
David Britton continues his exploration of the the “Riders of the Range” story, “Last of the Fighting Cheyenne” and Steve Winders takes a look at the short Biographical strip, ” “Gordon of Khartoum”, writer Chad Varah and artist Peter Jackson’s last strip for the weekly comic. (Unfortunately, the article ends mid-sentence, a minor faux pas in an otherwise enjoyable production!).
Sports fans will be delighted by the debut of a new series of features about Sporting Heroes who appeared in Eagle, which leads with a great item on the famous West Indian cricketer Sir Learie Constantine. Constantine lent his name (as “Leary Constantine” to a regular Cricket Coaching feature in the title from the first issue, and we know from the discovery of a recent “Pay Copy” that he certainly wrote it at the start, too. (Feature writer Peter Barr notes that after World War Two, Learie became an author of many books on cricket, but suggests at least some were ghost written). The article is a smashing overview of Constantine’s career as both a cricketer and beyond, although it would have been a bonus if the feature included information on how long his coaching series ran for. Let’s hope future “Sporting Heroes” items provide a reference to the Eagle the star appears in, in case readers wish to track them down on eBay or other means.
Finally, a new, two part “Archie Willoughby” short story begins this issue is set at the 1957 World Science Fiction Convention held in London and features several well known attendees. Steve Winders has some fun with mentions of popular SF of the time, Including Quatermass and Day of the Triffids!
• Eagle Times is published four times a year and is available as part of membership of the Eagle Society; the subscription for 2021 is £30 for the four issues (£45 for overseas subscribers). The final issues for this year (Volume 34) will be published on 14th December
Postal applications and back issue enquiries to: Eagle Society Membership Secretary Bob Corn, Wellcroft Cottage, Wellcroft, Ivinghoe, Buckinghamshire LU7 9EF
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It’s chocks away once again as Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future, returns! First published in classic British comic Eagle, this is perhaps the most seminal adventure of one of Britain’s best-loved characters, presented in a gorgeous library edition. When transmissions are disrupted throughout the Solar System and spaceships – including one carrying Sir Hubert – disappear, Dan and Co set out to discover what’s going on.
They find a fleet of huge alien craft containing peaceful aquatic creatures called Cosmobes, who are fleeing from another aquatic race, the warlike Pescods. But the Pescods have a deadly weapon, the ‘Crimson Death’ and they’re heading for Earth! Will Dan and his crew be able to once again save the day?