Monday, January 03, 2022

Eagle Times v34 no4 (Winter 2021)

The Eagle Times landed just before Christmas but this is the first chance I've had to read it. As always, the Eagle Society crew go all-out to bring some festive cheer to the magazine, from the snow-capped logo to holly-lined pages. The original Eagle did the same, and I'm always pleased to see the tradition continue.

There's another bumper line-up in the magazine's 56 pages, ranging from a tribute to Greta Edwards (nee Tomlinson), who died in September by Steve Winders and David Britton, nicely illustrated with photos from various events she attended in later years, to a report on the Society's 70th anniversary gathering at the Bliss Hotel, Southport, originally planned for April 2020, but delayed until September 2021. The issue also includes the text of Steve Winders' address, 'A Foreign Country', about how Eagle dealt with historical subjects, including the accuracy or inaccuracy of some of the strips set in the past.

A year in the making, part two of Andrew Newman's look at Eagle's Christmas celebrations over the years covers the years 1959-1962, when snow disappeared from the logo at the turn of the decade, although Christmas still featured heavily inside and through messages on the covers. Will things improve during the Sixties? Only time (and a third part next winter) will tell.

We get into the meat of the issue with the latest episodes of some of the paper's features, including David Britton's look back at how Charles Chilton tackled the historical truths of the Indian Wars in his strip 'Riders of the Range'. Steve Winders' PC49 short story concludes, the setting of the World Science Fiction Convention in London allowing the author to introduce a number of real science fiction writers and editors into the narrative as Archie investigates the murder of an American SF author. The Dan Dare Studio Ideas Book reveals how some Phant machinery was developed.

'Artists of the Range' looks at the payment book for the Riders of the Range Annual for 1961, found in a charity shop in Bath (you have to wonder how they got there), which gives a few clues as to who did what, although much of the content was paid to agencies. It won't surprise you to hear that I love this sort of thing!

Wrapping up the issue, Steve Winders (again) begins his look back at how Eagle's biography of David Livingstone matched the reality of his life and journeying through Africa.

The quarterly magazine is the journal of the Eagle Society, with membership costing £30 in the UK, £45 (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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