Latest “Eagle Times” pays tribute to artist Greta Tomlinson, explores the rights and wrongs of historical comic adventures

The final edition of Eagle Times for 2021, the magazine of the Eagle Society, is out now, and it’s no surprise that this issue includes a report from its recent gathering of members in Southport, an event much delayed by the ongoing COVID pandemic – and there’s much more, too.

Eagle Times Volume 34 No. 4, Harris Tweed art by John Ryan
Eagle Times Volume 34 No. 4. Harris Tweed art by John Ryan

Sadly, one main feature of the issue is a heartfelt tribute by Steve Winders and David Britton to the late Greta Tomlinson, one of the team who worked on the early “Dan Dare” strips, and more, and became the model for Professor Peabody. The tribute notes Greta’s support of the Society, and her genuine love of art, despite the health problems she faced in later years.

Eagle Times Volume 34 No. 4, Sample Page

Elsewhere, Andrew Newman delivers a second feature on how Eagle celebrated Christmas, covering 1959 to 1962, and David Britton’s ongoing series on “Charles Chilton and the Indian Wars”, comparing fictional events in “Riders of the Range” with historical record, noting the appalling treatment of Native American tribes such as the Cheyenne.

Eagle Times Volume 34 No. 4, Sample Page

This ongoing series is complemented by the publication of Steve Winders address to the Eagle Society Gathering titled “A Foreign Country”, a fascinating presentation on historical accuracy in Eagle’s historical adventures (which is a little mixed, the worst excesses including “Hero’s the Spartan” managing to swim in full Roman armour). But Steve also explored the wider issues of anachronisms and oddities of many television series set in the past, too, and the feature is a handy caution for writers planning to write historical drama.

Steve Winders’ own historical detective fiction, “The Case of the Unconventional Convention”, also features this issue, complete with footnotes about real SF gatherings of the 1950s. (It would be nice to see Steve’s tales for Eagle Times collected, perhaps accompanied by illustrations). He also delivers the first of a three-part look at the back page Eagle strip, “The Great Explorer”, the story of missionary David Livingstone.

It was a pleasure to be a speaker at the much-delayed Eagle 70th Anniversary event and I’m glad some of my race through my comics career proved of interest to Reg Hoare, who delivers an enjoyable account of the gathering, which included a visit by some to “The Bakehouse”, where Eagle was “born”.

Eagle Times Volume 34 No. 4, Sample Page
Just one of several shorter features in this issue of Eagle Times

For comic archivists, Ian Millsted offers a fascinating look at a “pay copy” of the 1961 Riders of the Range annual he bought in a charity shop, notes inside offering an insight not only into how much artists were paid, but identifying creators such as Harry Bishop, Jim Holdaway (best known for co-creating “Modesty Blaise” with Peter O’Donnell) and TV Comic’s Bill Mevin.

Overall, there’s again quite a range of features this issue, and if you’re an Eagle fan, this Society is surely one to join.

Eagle Times is published four times a year and is available as part of membership of the Eagle Society; the subscription for 2022 is £30 for the four issues (£45 for overseas subscribers).

Postal applications and back issue enquiries to: Eagle Society Membership Secretary Bob Corn, Wellcroft Cottage, Wellcroft, Ivinghoe, Buckinghamshire LU7 9EF

If you wish to pay by Paypal (from your Paypal account to the e-mail address given below) we request that you make your payment as a GIFT) | Enquiries: membership@eagle-society.org.uk

Eagle Times is online at eagle-times.blogspot.com

Writers Wanted!

The team on Eagle Times are keen to expand their coverage of the 1980s volume of the title in upcoming issues, and if you’re interested in writing for the title, drop them a line via the published email address above and it will be passed on

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.



Categories: British Comics, Comics, Creating Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Reviews

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