Spaceship Away, the Dan Dare-inspired SF comic anthology, celebrates landmark sixtieth issue

The team behind the Dan Dare and Eagle-inspired comics anthology Spaceship Away are celebrating this month, as the long-running title clocks up its sixtieth issue – and on fine form.

The cover of Spaceship Away Part 60 represents Keith Watson’s cover art for Part One, published in 2003
The cover of Spaceship Away Part 60 represents Keith Watson’s cover art for Part One, published in 2003

First announced at an Eagle Society Annual Dinner back in 1992 by its original editor, Rod Barzilay, Spaceship Away has delivered a wide range of SF comic strips for the past 20 years, back issues still available from the magazine’s official web site.

The current issue continues the Dan Dare adventure “The Corium Experiment”, with Digby in unexpected danger at Spacefleet headquarters, a tale originally published as “Digby the Guinea Pig” in the Dan Dare Spacebook in 1953, in black and white, the first page drawn by Frank Hampson, the rest by Desmond Walduck.

Spaceship Away Part 60 - Dan Dare
Spaceship Away Part 60 - Jeff Hawke
Spaceship Away Part 60 - Dan Dare by David Motton and John M. Burns

We’re also treated to more Jeff Hawke by Sydney Jordan in “The Comet’s Tale”; for fans of artist John M. Burns, the second and final part of a Dan Dare story written by David Motton, presented as a centre spread; and the conclusion of “Target Earth” by Gordon Coombs, with art by Harry Winslade, first published in Express Weekly, and the story “Invaders from Time“, written by Philip Harbottle, with art by Ron Turner, coloured by Martin Baines.

it will be interesting to see what vintage material editor Des Shaw includes next issue to replace the latter adventures.

Spaceship Away Part 60 - Target Earth
Spaceship Away Part 60 - Nick Hazard

Alongside the strips this issue, which also include another episode of the humour strip, “Earthward Bound”, we’re also treated to an interview by Jeremy Briggs with comics writer Garth Ennis, focusing on his work on Virgin Comics Dan Dare mini-series, drawn by Gary Erskine, revealing some intriguing background into the creation of the adventure, and Garth’s first encounters with Frank Hampson’s space hero.

Andrew Darlington also brings us a fascinating feature on “The Silent Three”, the famous girls adventure story published in School Friend. An unusual item, perhaps, for the SF-focused magazine, but it’s presented in the context of its success driving sales of the 1950s comic, and how it led to a change of format and content for Eagle’s sister paper, Girl, which warrants study.

Spaceship Away Part 60 - The Silent Three

Finally, in addition to the latest “Space Review“, researched and written by Ray Wright, Spaceship Away founder Rod Barzilay brings us his recollections of the early days of the magazine, revealing its origins.

Our congratulations to the team on reaching this milestone issue. We look forward to seeing what the future brings.

• Order Spaceship Away on subscription – and back issues, too – from the magazine’s web site here


• John M Burns Art Facebook Group

• Jeff Hawke –

• Jeff Hawke Club

• Bear Alley – Steve Holland’s profile of artist Harry Winslade

A fantastic piece of detective work about the comic creator from Steve Holland, whose credits also included illustrations for the Eagle, “The Brainy B’s” for Zip and the “Battle Brothers” for Express Weekly, as well as working on various boys and girls titles for DC Thomson

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

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