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Monday, April 08, 2019

Eagle Times v32 no1 (Spring 2019)

The new volume of Eagle Times begins with a strong issue that feels like it concentrates on comics rather more than other subjects, which has not been the case for some while.

The issue begins with the story of an unlikely meeting with Nikita Kruschev at a filling station in Sussex might have led to Dan Dare inspiring the Russian space programme, and a piece about T. E. Lawrence (of Arabia), who was to have been the subject of a back-page biography.

The meat of the issue begins with Jim Duckett's article about Look-In, the colourful television tie-in comic that ran for 23 years in 1971-94, which had many connections to the Eagle group of comics through its artists.

Next, Steve Winders offers a first look (of two) at the travels of Marco Polo, hero of the 1959 back-cover saga drawn by Frank Bellamy and Peter Jackson (Bellamy, of course, was sidelined to draw Dan Dare, so was only able to contribute the first eight issues).

Jeremy Briggs' article on the centrespreads of the later 'New' Eagle introduces Peter Sarson, the regular artist, who produced almost 50 cut-away drawings between 1990 and 1991, almost half of which were subsequently reprinted in the Eagle monthly in 1991-93. Sarson is also interviewed in this issue with plenty of his cut-aways used as illustrations.

After a brief look back at some of the actors suggested to play Dan Dare in the proposed 1991 TV series, we're back to the printed page with part 4 of David Britton's history of Charles Chilton's Jeff Arnold and his activities during the Indian Wars, this episode offering a look at the historical reality vs. the comic strip version of the Battle of Little Big Horn.

Finally, even Steve Winders' PC49 short story turns into a meta-fiction as Archie meets Frank Hampson.

As ever, there's always something new that can be written about Eagle and, having opened the magazine up to other comics and other subjects, the Eagle Times always manages to remain fresh and interesting.

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 Back issues are available for newcomers to the magazine and they have even issued binders to keep those issues nice and neat.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this issue, and I really like the expansion of coverage to other titles. I'm biased of course, after all Jeremy's help with downthetubes, but tracking down cutaway artist Peter Sarson (and Lionel Jeans, for last issue) offers a fascinating insight into that aspect of the comic.