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Saturday, October 12, 2019

Eagle Times v.32 no.3 (Autumn 2019)

This issue kicks off with the sixth and final episode of David Britton's study of Charles Chilton and the Jeff Arnold story based on the Indian Wars. Here he looks at the aftermath of the of the defeat of General Custer. In the wake of the battle, General Sherman was put in charge of all Indian reservations and treated the indigenous nations as prisoners of war. Chilton tackled the peace talks between the U.S. Army and Sitting Bull, involving Jeff in the talks and in escorting Sitting Bull and the Sioux to Canada.

Britton concludes that Chilton researched his subject thoroughly, although gave the story a rather happier ending than what actually happened. Britton has also researched his subject thoroughly and it has made for a fascinating series.

Two thoroughly researched articles follow: a look at the Radio Luxembourg Dan Dare show, identifying dates, episode titles, plots and other nuggets of information about the cast; and Jeremy Briggs looks at the very scarce The Shell, a giveaway comic from the petrol company which included comic strips, features and cutaways (the one illustrated in the article is by cutaway supremo L. Ashwell Wood). The article covers only a limited number of pages available and with contributions by Wood and Peter Jackson, it's a title that I think Eagle fans will want to look out for.

This issue's cover star is Tintin, who featured in Eagle in 1951-52. Jim Duckett's article concentrates on Herge's Destination Moon storyline, which had a more fraught creation than I had previously known, with its creator suffering a number of nervous breakdowns due to overwork (a familiar story to anyone who knows the background of Frank Hampson and Dan Dare). In the case of Tintin, it meant a nineteen month break in production of Tintin's Luna adventure.

Steve Winders' article on photo strips in the 1980s Eagle is a whistle-stop guide to the early days of Doomlord, Sergeant Streetwise and Manix (who later continued in strip form), plus the schoolboy adventures of Thunderbolt and Smokey, the anthology series The Collector, and The Adventures of Fred—starring a heavily disguised Barrie Tomlinson, the balloon-free series drawing on his love of The Goons.

The photo strips could be quite inventive and the choices somewhat surprising: who would have thought a photo strip about The Invisible Boy would have lasted more than one series; and Jake's Platoon, set in France, was clearly photographed in England. It was also an expensive process and, after the initial period of popularity, sales of the new Eagle began to drift downwards, making photo stories harder to justify.

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.

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