“I know that you seem to be looking at something that looks more contemporary, but I didn’t really want to draw that,” says Jonathan. “I think the charm of Dan Dare was that his uniforms were always a mix of British armed forces outfits of the period, mixed with some pretty sleek updating, especially from Frank Bellamy.
“I’m also not a huge fan of Frank Hampson, and think Bellamy was the greatest sequential artist Britain has ever produced, and his realistic drawings of the fantastical were just astonishing. With that in mind, I’ve tried for a realistic, non-cartoon, style.
“… Frank Bellamy is the reason I draw, so I had to shoot something quick off anyway.”
Jonathan is a designer/illustrator who has worked in London and Los Angeles, but am now settled in Cornwall. You should definitely check out his site (http://wobblylines.blogspot.com) for some sample pages of a gorgeous-looking comic strip, IRON, set in Britain around the 5th Century AD, shortly after the withdrawal and collapse of the Roman empire, – which it looks has found a publisher.
Jonathan also on DevianArt (http://jonathanwyke.deviantart.com), where his posts include a stunning image of John Hurt as the Doctor and Adam West s Batman as well as examples of his comic strip work on titles such as Wordsmith for Iron Age Productions. He’s also on Twitter (https://twitter.com/JonathanWyke).
Taking inspiration from the wonderful Project Rooftop project, which often challenges artists to re-design well-known US superheroes, we’re asking creators to re-visit the original Dan Dare universe crated by Frank Hampson for Eagle. How might Space Fleet vehicles look in our near future, given advances in technology that could not even be guessed at in the 1950s? How would the principal characters – Dan Dare, Digby, Jocelyn Peabody, Sondar and the Mekon look if a film company was to use Hampson’s team’s designs for a modern ‘reboot’ of the saga?
We want you to get your thinking caps on and send us your very best design ideas. You must use the original Dan Dare universe as your starting point (as designed by Hampson’s original team, not later artists) but not be a slave to some of the out of date concepts that featured in the early stories.
Illustrations and, if you have time, a strip page featuring your new look Dan Dare are what we are looking for with this competition.
Submit your designs via firstname.lastname@example.org, indicating “Dan Dare Competition” in the subject line. We will post entries on the downthetubes site and forum, and will take your submission to the competition as permission to do this.
Please make sure to send us a small biography about yourself and details of your web site, so we can include them in any postings.
• The deadline for entries is now extended until 2nd December 2013. The best entry will win a copy of The Dan Dare Space Fleet Operations Manual recently released by Haynes, and a copy of my 2010 art book, SciFi Art Now.
We look forward to seeing what you come up with!