Saturday, July 02, 2022

Eagle Times v35 no2 Summer 2022 [June 2022]

There will be  a real surprise for readers as they pull the latest issue of Eagle Times from its envelope; for the first time — at least I think it's the first time — the magazine features a newly painted cover, a remarkable sci-fi action scene by Alan Langford, a veteran of comics and illustrated books, including strips the  Eagle Holiday Special 1987 and an issue of Eagle Monthly back in 1991.

In a way it's a shame that, while I like the illustration itself, my inner Mr. Pernickety wonders why this honour falls to a non-Eagle character. Captain Condor was the cover star of Lion, the weekly launched as a rival to Eagle, the choice of a science fiction strip deliberately made because of the popularity of Dan Dare. And while I'm wearing my Mr. Pernichety bow-tie, it's worth noting that the article the cover illustrates is a reprint, albeit an interesting one, that has been on John Freeman's Down the Tubes website for over three years, the only difference being the choice of artwork (which, sensibly given the venue, added an example of Keith Watson's run on the strip).

To mangle a quote, I come not to bury Eagle Times but to praise it, but... again, if I was to wear my editorial hat, I would not have begun the issue with an article about the Canadian railway system that has little to do with Eagle bar a passing mention of an Ashwell Wood cutaway. Leaping over part two of a PC 49 text story, we are already on page 19 before getting to an article that is genuinely about the old Eagle, namely the latest part of David Britton's meticulous study of the Charles Chilton 'Riders of the Range' strip and its historical accuracy (or inaccuracy) in its retelling of The Indian Wars. In part he looks at how Jeff Arnold and Luke join the Cheyenne, who, under the leadership of Dull Knife, are making their way to Fort Robinson.

Steve Winders also compares strip to reality with the final part of his look at the back page biography of Doctor Livingstone, 'The Great Explorer'. Winders concludes that Livingstone was a far more complex character than the one known to most of us — especially as that knowledge is almost certainly confined to him being lost somewhere in darkest Africa where he was found by a guy called Stanley who presumed he was Dr Livingstone when they met.

Steve Winders again begins a new series looking at the six 'Luck of the Legion' novels written by Geoffrey Bond, charting how some were original, some adapted from previous strips and some later adapted into strips. I look forward to learning what Steve "decid-" (the article ends rather suddenly!).

Dan Dare miniatures, a Charles Chilton anecdote, a look at pen-names used by Eagle related authors, a brief and wistful celebration of the 40th anniversary of the new Eagle, and the usual Postbag bring the latest issue to a close. It's another excellent issue (as I said above, I'm here to praise the magazine), but this issue suffers a little from fewer articles about Eagle and more about Eagle-adjacent subjects.

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. THE END OF MY PIECE ON LUCK OF THE LEGION SHOULD READ "I finally decided to order the book on e-bay as I realised I was never going to come across it in a second hand bookshop." UNFORTUNATELY THE LAST LINES WERE LOST AT THE PRINTING STAGE.



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