New Eagle Times spotlights Dan Dare’s “Lion” days

Eagle Times Volume 30 Issue 2 - Cover

The new Eagle Times – Summer 2017 issue (Volume 30, Part Two) – is out now. Features include “Life After Eagle“, about Dan Dare‘s brief run in Lion, the second part of downthetubes contributor Steve Winders article about Frank Bellamy’s “The Shepherd King”, and an item on science fiction films of the 1950s.

The full rundown of the Eagle Times is as follows:

  • ‘Life after Eagle’ – a recollection of the merged Lion and Eagle from 1969 – 1970 – where “Dan Dar”‘ lived on for a while, albeit as repeats and in black-and-white
  • ‘Hulton’s Boys and Girls Exhibition: 1959’ – a look at the programme of the fourth Hulton’s Boys and Girls Exhibition, held at London’s Olympia in August 1959
  • ‘Remembering Dan Dare: “The Mushroom” – a re-look at a Dan Dare story from Eagle in the mid-1960s, which was drawn by Keith Watson
  • ‘Playful Stories were Frank’s preferred way’ of writing – a look at the humour that Frank Hampson worked into the early stories of Dan Dare
  • ‘Leo Baxendale (1930 – 2017)’ – an obituary of the comic genius who created The Beano’s Bash Street Kids and so many other wonderful characters for DC Thomson and IPC including “Danny Dare for Wham!
  • “The Shepherd King'” Part Two of Steve Winders’ three-part examination of Clifford Makins’ and Frank Bellamy’s strip about the biblical King David, comparing Eagle’s strip with biblical accounts of David’s life
  • ‘Eagle Society Gathering, 2017’: A photo-illustrated report on this year’s Eagle Society Annual Gathering and Dinner, which were held in April at The Queen Hotel, Chester
  • ‘In and Out of the Eagle‘: Two further instalments in the series presenting collections of Eagle-related snippets
  • He Tried to Stop You Reading Eagle – Leonard Matthews’, Part Three: concluding the three-part adjunct to Roger Perry’s series, ‘They Helped to Bring You Eagle
  • “The Road of Courage” – an appreciation and an ethnic criticism of Eagle‘s back-page story of Jesus as told by Marcus Morris and drawn by Frank Hampson
  • ‘Space Fiction Movies in Eagle’s Times’, Part Two: a look at films about space exploration and alien visitations to the earth, the bread-and-butter of the Eagle’s Dan Dare’s adventures between 1950 and 1969. This part covers 1954-1956, including Conquest of Space, and Forbidden Planet
  • ‘Nelson’s Ladies’ – a follow-up to the article on Eagle‘s story “Nelson, The Great Sailor”, in the Spring 2016 issue, this takes look at Nelson’s women as depicted in Comet in 1955 and later in Thriller Picture Library 
  • “PC 49’s Last Case”, Part One – beginning a new story, based on the characters originally created for the radio series by Alan Stranks
  • “Dan Dare – Requiem, Revival or Reboot”? Is it time to say goodbye to Frank Hampson’s creation, or time to try something new?
  • Two Tributes: Martin Aitchison and Howard Corn
  • “Eagle Times – What’s Next?” As we near the completion of 30 years of Eagle Times, the editors seeks the views of members on the future of the Eagle Society’s journal

As noted above, the issue includes the final part of the late Roger Perry’s feature about publishing Leonard Matthews, a controversial figure in the history of Eagle. Unfortunately, the article touches on Roger’s oft-repeated claims that Matthews regularly commissioned duplicate art, a claim challenged by numerous British comics experts and, today, denied by Roger’s source for the claim.

Roger was, at one time, very sure about this claim but when we first published a series of articles by this veteran of British comics on downthetubes, crammed with wonderful anecdotes about Eagle and Girl editorial office antics, it became clear there was no  evidence for Roger’s allegations. Some of our final correspondence before his death led me to decide to excise this aspect of his otherwise entertaining features from his downthetubes features.

I’m told the next Eagle Times will feature a note on this controversy next issue and set matters straight. I’m sure that for many Eagle and Dan Dare fans this may seem a minor matter and certainly shouldn’t detract from the rest of the issue, but as one of the editors who at one time also got caught up in Roger’s conspiracy theory, the Eagle Times team have my sympathies!

• Ordering and subscription details can be found at

With thanks to Steve Winders

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, Creating Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Magazines

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