Sunday, December 04, 2022

Eagle Times v35 no3, Autumn 2022 [November 2022]

The sad truth that comics' fans face is that we're all getting older and what we loved as children is becoming ancient history. It also means that we lose friends and colleagues, which has been very noticeable with Eagle Times in recent years with the passing of names from the comic like Don Harley and Greta Tomlinson, but also of those fans who kept the comic alive like Keith Howard, Tony Cowley and, in August this year, Adrian Perkins.

A couple of tributes mark the passing of Adrian, who was key to setting up the first Eagle Convention back in 1980 and published the Astral Group Newsletter as well as writing The SF World of Dan Dare (1991), a comprehensive handbook, with David Ampleford.

Onto the meat of this issue, which leads with a feature on 'Dan Dare's Lesser Known Rivals', a whistle-stop tour of Fifties spacemen in the pages of Space Comics, Space Commander Kerry, Spaceman, Space Commando—I'm sensing a theme here—and other now obscure titles. It touches briefly on Ace Hart, Hal Starr, Swift Morgan and Captain Valiant, and leaves you wanting more. (At this point I should note that I love this kind of stuff and reprinted Norman Light's Captain Future a few years ago... which is still available.)

Despite my love for those old sci-fi heroes, the best article in this issue comes from David Britton who has a feature on how girls were treated as fans of Eagle. The paper, although dominated by male heroes, had a strong following amongst girls, who made up perhaps a fifth of the readership. Editor Marcus Morris was well aware of this and included articles suitable for his female audience. Trying to achieve some sort of balance and the reaction to it may have provided the impetus to create Girl. Certainly listening to the audience caused the editorial staff to look again at the content of the paper, which appeared at its launch to be a boys' idea of what a girls' paper should be.

Britton also pens the next episode of a railway story concerning the Canadian Pacific Railway, relevant to Eagle fans as it was visited by Macdonald Hastings.

The Eagle Society gathering at Greenwich in June takes up some of this issue, with Reg Hoare offering a comprehensive report on the event, and the text of Steve Winders' address.

Steve Winders has two other pieces this issue, part two of his look through Geoffrey Bond's foreign legion novels about Sergeant Luck, and a new story featuring P.C. 49, this one set at the Royal Variety Performance.

The quarterly Eagle Times 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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