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Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Eagle Times v.33 no.4 (Winter 2020)

The wrap-up issue for Eagles Times' 33rd year has the usual fascinating features based around the original Eagle comic and the era in which it was published. Being an obsessive collector of information about old British comics, my favourite piece in this issue is Jeremy Briggs' look at a Christmas issue of Girl... but this is a particularly interesting copy as it is an Odhams' office copy in which the payment details have been scrawled by a sub-editor.

So we can see that the two page colour strip, 'Susan of St. Bride's', earned writer Ruth Adams 16 guineas and the artists agency (International Artists) 70 guineas, which would have been split between Ray Bailey and Philip Townsend. Peter Kay earned 32 guineas for a single black & white pages, while the script earned Sidney James 12 guineas.

Other useful information comes from this kind of discovery. Gerry Haylock was paid 38 guineas for his back page biography of Gladys Aylward, and Harry Lindfield earned 10 guineas for story illustrations, both seemingly paid directly rather than the agency who had employed them in the early Fifties and before both joined another studio by the early Sixties. One presumes that there was enough regular work for both of them to risk not having a agent touting their work to publishers.

Elsewhere, Andrew Newman looks at how Eagle celebrated Christmas over the years, with changes to the Christmas issues ranging from having stories reflect the time of year or a simple scattering of snow and holly around the famous Eagle cover logo. (The article comes to a somewhat abrupt end, which makes me think there might need to be a part two in the spring.)

David Britton continues to look at Charles Chilton's stories of The Indian Wars, this episode being the third to cover the war with Geronimo. This detailed look at Jeff Arnold's adventures compares the story with the reality of the battles and sometimes finds them wanting (or at least vague). Also continuing is Steve Winders' examination of 'The Great Adventurer' from Eagle's earliest issues.

Other features include a P.C.49 story, a look at the Birnbeck Pier, a report on the Eagle exhibition at the Atkinson Art Gallery in Southport, and a ghost story for Christmas. On a sad note, this issue notes the passing of Keith Howard and Tony Cowley, two staunch supporters of Eagle Times who will be missed.

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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