British Comic Stamps: The Eagle

Royal Mail Comic Collection 2012 - EagleHere’s the third of our ten posts to mark the release of the Royal Mail’s Comic Collection, celebrating 75 years of British comics. The Royal Mail have kindly sent us large versions of each stamp, so we thought we’d show them off in all their glory, in the order of first comic publication.

The first issue of Eagle was released in April 1950. Revolutionary in its presentation and content, it was enormously successful; the first issue sold about 900,000 copies. Featured in colour on the front cover was Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future, created by Frank Hampson. Other popular stories included Riders of the Range and P.C. 49. Eagle also contained news and sport sections, and educational cutaway diagrams of sophisticated machinery.

Despite its decline in the late 1960s, victim to intense competition and bad management, The Eagle was revived in the 1980s – and indeed, 30 years ago this week, as Lew Stringer notes on his Blimey! It’s Another Blog about Comics blog.

Dan Dare and elements of both new and old Eagle are today owned by the Dan Dare Corporation, who continue to try to get a feature film and tv series based on Dan Dare off the ground.

• Stamps and stamp products are available at all Post Office branches, online at www.royalmail.com/personal/comic-stamps-and-collectibles, the Royal Mail eBay shop: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Royal-Mail-Stamp-Collections and from Royal Mail Tallents House (tel. 08457 641 641), 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB.

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.



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