The latest edition of Eagle Times the magazine of the Eagle Society – Volume 30 No. 1 – is now available.
This Issue features articles about Alan Stranks (who created PC49 and scripted several Dan Dare stories), Space Fiction Films in Eagle‘s times, the humorous “Blunderbirds” strip – and the first part of a three part analytical article about Frank Bellamy‘s “The Shepherd King” about King David.
The full run down is as follows:
• “The Shepherd King“: Part 1 of a three-part examination of Clifford Makins‘ and Frank Bellamy‘s strip about the biblical King David, comparing the strip with biblical accounts of his life. The strip began on Eagle‘s back page in September 1958.
• Alan Stranks under closer investigation: some other facets of the rare life of the writer who created PC49 for radio, then brought him to Eagle, and wrote the Dan Dare adventure “Prisoners of Space” for Eagle in 1954
• Blunderbirds are Go!: continuing a look at Eagle strips of the 1960s with this short-lived send-up, drawn by Brian Lewis, of the TV series Thunderbirds, apparently conceived by fellow cartoonist Ken Reid
• The Original “Rider of the Range”: an examination of the life of Cal McCord, who starred in the first three Riders of the Range radio serials
• Dan Dare: The 2000AD Years, Volume 2: a review of the second volume of reprints of ‘Dan Dare’ from 2000AD comic
• He Tried to Stop You Reading Eagle Part 2: an adjunct to the series, ‘They Helped to Bring You Eagle’, this continues the story of Leonard Matthews, General Managing Editor of Fleetway
• Martin Aitchison (1919-2016): a personal recollection the artist Martin Aitchison, particularly the Eagle years, who died last year, written by Nick, his only son; illustrated with some of Martin’s non-Eagle work
• In and Out of the Eagle: a further instalment in the series presenting collections of Eagle-related snippets
• Harris Tweed, Eagle and 1950s Coffee Culture: an exploit of Extra Special Agent Harris Tweed in an espresso bar inspires a look at this lost social scene of the1950s
• Space Fiction Movies in Eagle‘s Times, Part 1: a look at films about space exploration and alien visitations to the Earth, the bread-and-butter of the Eagle’s Dan Dare’s adventures between 1950 and 1969. This part covers 1950-1953, from Rocketship X-M to War of the Worlds
• Hulton’s Boys & Girls Exhibition, 1958: a look at the programme of the third Hulton’s Boys and Girls Exhibition, held at London’s Olympia in 1958
• Yet More Eagle Miscellany – a further collection of notes on Eagle history
• In Defence of Comics 1953 – Reviewing an article that appeared in the Daily Express in 1953 defending comics as a route to the love of reading. The original article was authored by Lady Pakenham who did much to promote literacy in the young
• They Helped to Bring You Eagle: No 3 Brian Blake – The resident artist and art restoration specialist who worked on Eagle in the 1960s
• Ordering and subscription details can be found at
With thanks to Steve Winders
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. 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 “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.