Rare Dan Dare concept art unearthed from classic story “Reign of the Robots”

Dan Dare - Reign of the Robots Designs

Eagle co-creator Frank Hampson’s son Peter Hampson recently dropped us a line to tell us about some recently-discovered Dan Dare concept sketches, now online on the artist’s official web site.

The art, designs for the story “Reign of the Robots”, was given to Pip Warwick (a sculptor who created several ceramic Mekon heads in the 1970s) and came to light only recently.

Peter believes some of them were produced by Eric Eden.

“The drawings demonstrate yet again the extraordinary level of thought and care that went into the production of the strip,” says Peter. “None of these items were major parts of the story. As far as I’m aware, despite the time and trouble it must have taken to create Sondar’s ‘tent’, it only made it into a couple of frames, and then only as background.

Dan Dare - Reign of the Robots Designs

Dan Dare - Reign of the Robots Designs

“Fascinating though the drawings are, some of the annotations are even more interesting,” he continues. “For example, Digby’s menu, and the mention of the container beneath the ‘couch’ in the tent as the repository for Alan Stranks’ unknown future requirements – evidence of something which rarely gets a mention in descriptions of life in the studio – the sense of fun which went side by side with all the hard work.”

Some o the art will feature in a new book by author and photograper John Wade on 1950’s SF, The Golden Age of Science Fiction, scheduled for publication in Autumn 2018.

Check out the full gallery of images on The Official Frank Hampson web site

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", working as a freelance editor, as Creative Consultant on the new Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years. His credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel UK and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines. He also edited STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics, including Team M.O.B.I.L.E. and The Beatles Story. 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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