Eagle Times spotlights “Lightning”, the Comic That Never Was

Eagle Times Volume 28 Number Three - Cover

The new issue Eagle Times (Volume 28, Number Three), available from the Eagle Society, features an article by David Slinn telling the background story of a new children’s magazine, Lightning, that never saw the light of day, but was proposed for publication by the National Magazine Company Limited in 1973.

Autumn 2015 Contents

  • ‘The Story of Lightning‘: David Slinn, himself a contributor to Eagle and Swift in 1960, tells the background story of a new children’s magazine that (never saw the light of day, but) was proposed for publication by the National Magazine Company Limited in 1973
  • ‘PC49 and the Case of The Case of the Gypsy’s Warning’: one more in the series of adaptations from the PC49 BBC radio stories originally written by Alan Stranks
  • ‘Mark the Youngest Disciple’: Part 2 of an examination of the background to Chad Varah’s version of the events surrounding the Passion of Jesus, which appeared in Eagle between November 1954 and June 1955, drawn by Giorgio Bellavitis
  • ‘Dan Dare’s Back in Southport’: a report on the new Atkinson Gallery in Southport, the birthplace of Eagle, which features a collection of ‘Dan Dare’ memorabilia on permanent display
  • ‘How the Future Took a Turn for the Worse’: regretting the change in predicted futures from Frank Hampson’s vision in ‘Dan Dare’ to the dystopian visions predicted in the comics of today
  • ‘The Mystery of the Bovril Brigade Advertisement’: on the two advertising strips which appeared in Eagle in 1962/63, drawn by Frank Hampson
  • ‘In and Out of the Eagle‘ – some more of the series presenting collections of Eagle-related snippets
  • ‘Eric Dadswell’: on the artist, who drew for a number of Hulton’s titles, including GirlSwift and Eagle in the 1950s
  • ‘Biggles Flies With Eagle‘: recollection of the Biggles serials and short stories, written by Capt. W.E. Johns and which appeared in Eagle and its annuals
  • ‘Pop Chalmers was created to say Thank You’: How the National Coal Board commissioned ‘Dan Dare’ creator Frank Hampson to draw the advertising newspaper strip series ‘The Chalmers’ in 1962
  • ‘The Eagle Riders of the Range Annual No 1′: a review of the first of the scarlet-covered Hulton annuals, which followed five previous Juvenile Productions editions
  • ‘John Worsley – War Artist’: a short article inspired by the inclusion of three paintings by John Worsley in the War Artists at Sea exhibition, which was held at Queen’s House, Greenwich between February and August 2015. Worsley is better known to Eagle readers as the artist of ‘PC49’
  • ‘More on the Spaceship Builder Mystery’: with thanks to Tony Knowles of the Midland Meccano Guild, some further information on the Dan Dare Spaceship and other manufacturers’ spaceship kits
  • ‘Rex Milligan on Television’: the details of Eagle‘s “first television star”. Rex Milligan was created for Eagle by Jennings author Anthony Buckeridge, and was adapted for BBC television by Buckeridge himself in 1956. It beat John Ryan’s ‘Captain Pugwash’ to television by a year, and ‘Dan Dare’ by forty six.
  • ‘Frontiers of Science’: the roots of the informative strip from the last years of the Eagle (1967 – 1969)
  • ‘When Dan and Digby sneaked into 2000AD‘: on the depiction of Dan Dare, with a striking resemblance to the Eagle original (rather than his 2000AD “reincarnation”), alongside a Digby lookalike (called “Wilmo”) in the second 2000AD Annual

More about Eagle Times and how to subscribe here

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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