The BBC Archive has released a 1975 Nationwide feature and interview with Dan Dare creator Frank Hampson, recorded shortly after the artist and writer was voted Prestigioso Maestro at an international convention of strip cartoon and animated film artists held at Lucca, Tuscany.
A jury of his peers gave him a Yellow Kid Award and declared the co-creator of Eagle comic to be the best writer and artist of strip cartoons since the end of the World War Two.
Shot, we believe, on 28th November 1975, the item for the BBC early evening magazine programme of the day opens with the line “This obscure artist is a very extraordinary man”, the feature quickly reveals that while he may have been considered obscure in 1975, he was far from that and delves into his work on Eagle while shooting him at work on art for Ladybird Books.
Hampson speaks candidly about the honour bestowed and his time on both Eagle and Dan Dare.
While this interview has appeared online before, we think this is the first time the BBC has released it officially, and it’s wonderful to see Frank talking about his work – and even providing a drawing Dan and the Mekon for the closing minutes.
The interview also features Dan Dare props, used in the making of the 1950s version of the strip.
• Official Frank Hampson web site: https://frankhampsonartwork.co.uk
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. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 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.