New Eagle Times pays tribute to artist Don Harley, and delves into alien tank design!

The latest EAGLE Times, from the Eagle Society, is out now and includes tributes to both the late Don Harley, a key member of the “Dan Dare” team for many years, and the Duke of Edinburgh, who was patron, among other things of London’s Cartoon Museum and a fan of the cartoon medium.

Eagle Times Volume 34 No 2 - Summer - Don Harley

Packed with interesting snapshots of internal Eagle comic correspondence, a another highlight of this issue is the continuation of Ernest Reed’s look at the creation of the “Dan Dare” story “The Phantom Fleet“, collected by Titan Books back in 2009. The correspondence not only highlights how much work that went into getting the strip right for publication, but reveals how such materials were developed in a pre-internet, pre-email age, where telephone calls, perhaps, were clearly backed up with correspondence, to ensure there was no confusion about what changes were required.

Items on Prince Philip from Eagle feature aplenty in this latest issue of Eagle Times, including this curiosity. If you want to know the answers, you'll have to subscribe!
Items on Prince Philip from Eagle feature aplenty in this latest issue of Eagle Times, including this curiosity. If you want to know the answers, you’ll have to subscribe!

Steve Winders two-part feature on the last Eagle back page biography strip concludes this issue, a strip telling the story of Walter Raleigh, drawn by Robert Ayton. Steve not only sings the praises of the strip’s writer, Guy Daniel, but also outlines why the biography strips were dropped, with Clifford Makins and Frank Bellamy’s “Montgomery of Alamein” the last such tale – but that occupied the centrespread of the weekly comic, from March 1962, for 18 glorious weeks.

Art from the "Dan Dare" story "Rogue Planet", featuring the "Phant Walking Tank" from Eagle Volume 7, No. 2
Art from the “Dan Dare” story “Rogue Planet”, featuring the “Phant Walking Tank” from Eagle Volume 7, No. 2
Thunderbirds "Sidewinder" versus "Phant Walking Tank" - coincidental design similarities? Thunderbirds © ITV Studios. Art from the "Dan Dare" story "Rogue Planet", from Eagle Volume 7, No. 3
Thunderbirds “Sidewinder” versus “Phant Walking Tank” – coincidental design similarities? Thunderbirds © ITV Studios. Art from the “Dan Dare” story “Rogue Planet”, from Eagle Volume 7, No. 3

Another Dan Dare adventure “Rogue Planet“, published in 1955 and 1956, is under the microscope in the latest feature on what remains of the Dan Dare Studio Ideas Book, with images of the Phant Walking Tank, perhaps an influence on the designers of Gerry Anderson’s Thunderbirds when it came to the “Sidewinder” logging machine seen in the episode “Pit of Peril”. It’s an article that does make me wonder how many other elements from “Dan Dare” or Eagle feature in that much-loved TV series!

Eagle Times Volume 34 No 2 - Riders of the Range

Also this issue, the “Riders of the Range” strip “The Heir of Duncreiff”, a story that saw the cowboys head to England, and a feature about how the EAGLE Book of Cars and Motorsport inspired some young readers to restore a jeep. Plus, the final instalment of the latest Archie Willoughby adventure, “The Case of the Plastic Cowboys”, by Steve Winders. 

Eagle Times is available to members of the Eagle Society and continues to deliver a fun fanzine about the weekly comic.

• Eagle Times is published four times a year and the subscription for 2021 will remain at £30 for the four issues (£45 for overseas subscribers). The next issues for this year (Volume 34) will be published on 30th September and 14th December

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:

• Eagle Times is online at

Dan Dare: The Phantom Fleet

• The Phantom Fleet collection, published by Titan Books in 2009, is still available (AmazonUK Affiliate Link, but prices are ridculous!)

It’s chocks away once again as Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future, returns! First published in classic British comic Eagle, this is perhaps the most seminal adventure of one of Britain’s best-loved characters, presented in a gorgeous library edition. When transmissions are disrupted throughout the Solar System and spaceships – including one carrying Sir Hubert – disappear, Dan and Co set out to discover what’s going on. 

They find a fleet of huge alien craft containing peaceful aquatic creatures called Cosmobes, who are fleeing from another aquatic race, the warlike Pescods. But the Pescods have a deadly weapon, the ‘Crimson Death’ and they’re heading for Earth! Will Dan and his crew be able to once again save the day?

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. 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 "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

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

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