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Sunday, April 01, 2018

Eagle Times v.31 no.1 (Spring 2018)

I haven't seen a copy of Eagle Times for probably a decade – since the days of Howard Corn editorship. The look of the magazine hasn't changed a bit in all that time, the editors creating a wonderful scrapbook of all things Eagle through a series of articles that, for the most part, centre on the famous comic from the Fifties and Sixties.

After thirty years and 121 issues, you would have thought the comic had been filleted to death and every tasty morsel of information dissected and pored over. Not so. There are still fascinating articles by the likes of Alan Vince, in this issue discussing the lost opportunities of those early Dan Dare stories, exploring ideas that were dropped into the stories but never really led anywhere, some of them plot points for stories that were never written.

David Busfield takes a look at the Hillman Minx and the Austin-Healey 100, using the Eagle's famous cut-away drawings to introduce the cars and their Dinkey Toys equivalents. Alastair Crompton, meanwhile, looks at the city of Mektona (from Dan Dare) and compares it to other fictional and real cities.

Will Grenham explores a couple of side alleys to the Eagle comic: one is the 'Flint of the Flying Squad' stories of PC-49 creator Alan Stranks, which were broadcast on the wireless in 1951-52 and spawned a nice comic strip series in the pages of the Daily Express with art by George Davies... and there's a little piece on Davies that introduces some of his other work. Greham's second  article looks at the unpublished Frank Bellamy adaptation of H. Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines which includes scans of all three episodes in colour.

Elsewhere in this issue, there's a brief obit. for Gerald Palmer, a look at the new Dan Dare series from Titan, a short story based on the adventures of PC-49, plus a look at movies contemporary to Eagle (this issue features part 5: 1960-62 and offers a couple of paragraphs on the likes of Assignment Outer Space and The Cape Canaveral Monsters as well as one genuine classic, The Day of the Triffids.

Anyone who has fond memories of the Eagle, or perhaps even a few lapsed Eagle Times readers, might want to give the magazine a try. Technically, the quarterly magazine is the journal of the Eagle Society, with membership costing £29 in the UK, £40 (in sterling) overseas. You can send subscriptions to Bob Corn, Wellcroft Cottage, Wellcroft, Ivinghoe, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire LU7 9EF; subs can also be submitted via PayPal to eagle-times@hotmail.com.

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