The first EAGLE Times from the Eagle Society for 2022 is out now – and digs deep into the archives of the legendary adventure weekly comic, spotlighting some unusual plagiarism by one writer, the work earning him the wrath of Biggles creator W.E. Johns.
In this issue are articles about the back page strip “The Great Explorer”, David Livingstone, another excellent article by Steve Winders; a look at the “Riders of the Range” adventure, “Last of the Fighting Cheyenne”; a feature on the life of swimmer Roy Romaine, who was featured as one of EAGLE‘s Sporting Heroes; a short article about the EAGLE Club album “Famous Men of Today” by Richard Sheaf; and a feature about the Canadian Pacific Railway, following up on a previous article on a story that was pitched to the comic, but never published.
There’s also a final item on the Dan Dare Studio Ideas Book, focusing on the Dan Dare story, “Rogue Planet”. This has been a terrific series, examining the background designs and inspirations for the “Dan Dare” strip assembled by the character’s creator, Frank Hampson, and his team. I, for one, would welcome a separate collection, albeit reformatted to give even greater prominence to some the amazing images this workbook includes. I suspect, however, that this would require licence from the Dan Dare Corporation, which might, sadly, prove a stumbling block.
Another highlight of this issue is an intriguing article by former EAGLE Times editor Will Grenham, reporting on an interesting discovery of a short story published in EAGLE in 1950, “The Strange Affair of Hairy Harry”, which proved to be copied by its ‘author’, the mysterious “Chesney Maguire”, almost word for word from a story by Captain W.E. Johns, creator of Biggles.
Will posits that subsequent legal action may have led to Johns gaining work for the comic in compensation, in addition to any as yet undiscovered financial settlement.
Finally, we’re treated to Part One of Steve Winders’ new Archie Willoughby story, “The Case of the Coveted Coffin”, which isn’t copied from anyone!
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