60th anniversary of Eagle – Part 1

Eagle DummyEagle DummyWith the 60th anniversary of Eagle fast approaching (14th April 2010) now seemed like a good time to have a look at what that iconic front page of Eagle magazine might have ended up looking like.

Shown here are two of the dummies that Eagle’s founders, Frank Hampson and Marcus Morris, put together to sell the idea of Eagle to a sceptical publishing world (Click the covers for larger images).

Both images shown space hero Dan Dare prominently (albeit in purple, so the strip doesn’t quite yet have that ‘RAF in Space’ vibe) and have strips that would make it into the first issue of Eagle (The Great Adventurer and Rob Conway – as Secret City was renamed).

Who can say what became of Ernie and Joe of Strawberry Farm, apart from the fact that they were never seen again.

Eagle comic - final dummy of first issueAs the launch date got closer, so further issues had to be mocked up to show what the magazine would look like. The image here shows what a transformation has taken place since the initial dummy magazines were put together.

This is much closer to what the eventual second issue would look like but there were still a number of alterations to be made. Space Fleet are all still decked out in gorgeous purple rather than RAF green, the Eagle bird has yet to make it onto the front cover, the famous Eagle font has yet to be designed by Ruari McLean and the Dan Dare logo is not quite ready.

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.



Categories: British Comics

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2 replies

  1. I know April 14th 1950 is usually considered the launch date for Eagle but did it have a cover date of a week ahead like other comics? If so, when was the actual launch date? Anyone know?

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