Monday, October 04, 2021

Eagle Times v34 n3 (Autumn 2021)

September saw the latest issue of Eagle Times landing, slightly early (as the editorial explains) after the lateness of the previous issue (again, the editorial explains). The magazine has been astonishingly regular for decades, so a few days is no problem amongst friends.

And Eagle Times is like an old friend, one who can occasionally surprise you. There are a handful of articles this issue that are run-ons from previous issues, including some of my favourite recent features: the studio ideas book, which includes sketches from the Frank Hampson studio, this time looks at the Phant war drum, while a second behind-the-scenes feature looks at the script for 'The Phantom Fleet' and how it came to a rather hurried end.

The New Eagle gets some coverage this issue, with Alan Hebden the subject of an interview — he wrote some fine comic strip tales during the photo-strip era, including 'The Tower King', 'The House of Daemon' and 'The Fifth Horseman', all illustrated by Jose Ortiz, as well as later strips 'News Team' and 'Comrade Bronski'. Something that doesn't get a mention is 'Manta Force', which I'll happily admit to barely remembering myself. There is also a review of 'The Tower King', which was a highlight of the new paper when it launched (I was no great fan of photo strips).

Back in the original Eagle, we have part 13 of David Britton's series on 'Charles Chilton & The Indian Wars', which analyses the historical background of Chilton's 'Riders of the Range' strip, which involved Jeff Arnold in many real situations, not always accurately.


John Ryan is the subject of a short article reprinted from Retro magazine, and Gordon of Khartoum gets the historic treatment, comparing reality with the back page strip that appeared in 1960, told by Chad Varah and drawn by Peter Jackson. Learie Constantine is the subject of a 'Whatever Happened to...' feature, inspired by the cricketer's series of 'Cricket Coaching' comic strips (credited to Leary (sic) Constantine in the first few issues), drawn by Denis Alford.

Steve Winders wraps up the issue with the first part of another P.C. 49 adventure, 'The Case of the Unconventional Convention', set at the 15th World Science Fiction Convention at the King's Court Hotel, London, in September 1957 and involving real-life attendees, including John Beynon Harris (John Wyndham) and Forrest J. Ackerman (who I met at a much later convention in 1979!).

It's another fine issue from the production team who run the magazine. More power to their elbow  as we reach the final issue of this volume, due out on 14 December.

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 membership@eagle-society.org.uk. 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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