Welcome to the web home of THE EAGLE SOCIETY.

THE EAGLE SOCIETY is dedicated to the memory of EAGLE - Britain's National Picture Strip Weekly - the leading Boy's magazine of the 1950s and 1960s. We publish a quarterly journal - the Eagle Times.

This weblog has been created to provide an additional, more immediate, forum for news and commentary about the society and EAGLE-related issues. Want to know more? See First Post and Eagle - How it began.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Eagle Times Vol 28 No 1

Spring 2015 Contents
  • 'I Designed Dan Dare's Space Cup' - how a 12-year-old's design for a Space Cup came to be taken up by Horlicks and was offered to members of the Horlicks Dan Dare Spacemen's Club on Radio Luxembourg
  • 'Telling the Story Without Words' - on Frank Hampson's ambition to create a comic strip without words, and the two one-page examples from Dan Dare episodes in Eagle
  • 'Great News Pals!' - an examination of the mergers that brought some well-known comics to their final resting places
  • 'PC49 and the Case of the Stolen Easter Eggs' - the latest in a series of PC49 stories adapted from Alan Stranks' radio stories
  • 'In and Out of the Eagle' - more in the series presenting collections of Eagle-related snippets
  • 'Saturday Morning at the Pictures, No 2: The Phantom Empire' - the second of a new series looking at Saturday children's cinema matinees of the 1950s
  • 'Eagle and the Air Speed Record in Cutaway' - the appearance of air-speed record aircraft in Eagle's cutaway centre-spreads
  • 'The Phantom Fleet as Advertised on TV' - on the appearance on TV in 1958 of an advertisement for The Phantom Fleet, "the new Dan Dare story in Eagle'
  • 'The Rivals of Jeff Arnold: John Wayne' - the appearance of the western film star John Wayne in comics and annuals
  • 'A Spacecraft Mystery' - requesting knowledge of 1950s aerospace building kits, 'A-Jet' and 'Supersonic'
  • 'PC49 and the Case Against the Three Howards' - how the Alan Stranks' PC49 radio stories are adapted for Eagle Times 
  • 'Rob Conway' - an examination of the short-lived strip created by Frank Hampson for the first issue of Eagle'
  • 'Would You Believe It?' - an article to test readers' credibility
  • 'The Sartorians' - on the natty dress of the characters and races invented by Frank Hampson and his team 
  • 'The Dairy Cutaways of L Ashwell Wood' - how some specific cutaway drawings ('The Romance of Ice Cream' and 'The Background to Pure Milk') came to feature in Eagle
  • 'Dan Dare Pilot of the Future in a New Jigsaw Puzzle' - a detailed review of the new Dan Dare Limited Edition Jigsaw Puzzle, made by Wentworth Wooden Puzzles and published by Dragon Collectables
  • 'Still the Happy Warrior' - a review of the latest reprint of Clifford Makins' and Frank Bellamy's Happy Warrior, the Life Story of Winston Churchill

Monday, 22 December 2014

New, Collector's Limited Edition, 'Dan Dare' Jigsaw Puzzle

This information arrived too late to include mention Eagle Times' latest issue and, now, possibly is too late for Christmas, but Eagle fans (and jigsaw collectors too!) may like to know of a newly issued Limited Edition 'Dan Dare' wooden jigsaw puzzle. The puzzle is produced by Vintage Toys and Games in conjunction with Dragon Collectables. The edition will be limited to 500 numbered and certificated copies, and priced at £59.95 each.

Note: The author has not seen a copy for review, and the information and photographs are as supplied in a Vintage Toys and Games press release. Clicking on the images will allow you to see them in a larger size. 

'Dan Dare' Puzzle

Presentation Box and Storage Bag

‘Dan Dare’ Collector’s Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle 
We are pleased to announce a new ‘Dan Dare’ Limited Edition wooden jigsaw puzzle, produced in conjunction with Dragon Collectables.
The large jigsaw (51 x 36 cm) is made up of a montage of original images from the first ‘Dan Dare’ story that appeared in ‘The Eagle’ comic, including the front page of the very first issue from April 1950.
The ‘Dan Dare’ stories, with their mixture of the futuristic adventures, exciting storylines and superb colour artwork helped make The Eagle one of the most popular weekly comics of the 1950’s and 1960’s.
This vintage-style wooden jigsaw puzzle brings Frank Hampson’s stunning artwork back to life and is a wonderful piece of 1950’s nostalgia.
Manufactured in the UK, the puzzle has been made to the highest standards and features 3mm thick, laser-cut, wooden pieces. It features some very unusually shaped pieces, and it includes over 30 ‘whimsy’ pieces (see attached photos). These specially shaped pieces were made popular in the wooden jigsaw puzzles of the early 20th century when jigsaw puzzles were cut by hand and the cutter would make a selection of pieces in special shapes, often to reflect the theme of the puzzle.
Every piece in the puzzle is a unique shape and the ‘whimsy’ pieces are themed around Dan Dare and The Eagle. The puzzle comes in a high-quality presentation box with a cloth bag to store the pieces.
The jigsaw puzzle is a Limited Edition and only 500 copies will be available worldwide. Each puzzle comes with an individually numbered Limited Edition Certificate.
'Whimsy' pieces

For further information or to order online go to: The Vintage Toys and Games website

Thanks to Nigel Gregory at Vintage Toys and Games for sending  the Press Release.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Eagle Times Vol 27 No 4

Winter 2014 Contents

  • 'Ron Embleton - Master of line drawing' - a focus on the black and white illustration work of this renowned artist, who drew in colour and black and white for many books, magazines and comics, including the 'Johnny Frog' strip for Eagle
  • 'Christmas Eagles 1960-69' - a look at the covers and festive-based content of Eagle through the 1960s
  • 'A Christmas Eagle Wordsearch' - festive fun with a quiz-based puzzle, with clues from Eagle's 1955 Christmas issue
  • 'Moon Rover' - as a follow up to the article in Eagle Times Vol 27 No 2 on breakfast cereals advertised in Eagle, a reader presents his recently built Shredded Wheat cutout model of a moon rover 
  • 'PC49 and the Case of the Missing Scotsman' - an aftermath of Hogmanay/New Year's adventure for the London bobby, adapted from on one of Alan Stranks' radio plays
  • 'Dan Dare Royalties' - the payments made to Hulton Press by the multifarious companies who produced 'Dan Dare' merchandise between 1st October, 1951 and 30th September, 1952
  • 'From Under the 1950s Christmas Tree: Christmas Annuals' - a look at the range of children's annuals and similar publications produced through the 1950s
  • 'A PC49 Christmas Story: The Case of the Cigarette Card' - PC49 gets a day off for Christmas, but still manages to have an adventure. A festive tale adapted from the Alan Stranks radio stories 
  • 'The Dan Dare Pipeline' - a look at the incidence of smoking in Eagle's 'Dan Dare', with some speculation on what might have been in Dan's famous billiard pipe 
  • 'Saturday Mornin' at the Pictures: No. 1 Congo Bill' - a new series looking at Saturday children's cinema matinees of the 1950s. The first looks at the Congo Bill, King of the Jungle serial and the origin of the character in comics
  • 'An Evening with Eagle at Pewterers' Hall' - a photo-illustrated article on the charity fundraising event An Evening with Eagle, a celebration of the comic and its connection with the City, which was held at Pewterers' Hall, London, on 29th October, 2014 in aid of The Samaritans. The event was organised by The Worshipful Company of Pewterers 
  • 'In and Out of the Eagle' - some more in the series presenting collections of Eagle-related snippets 
  • 'Past, Present and Future' - a reflection on the difficulties of prediction and the frustrations of modern life. Eagle Society member Steve Winders' amusing after dinner talk from the 2014 Eagle Society gathering at St. Albans 
  • 'A hotel fit for a king' - on the stately home/hotel Hartwell House, which featured in Jack o'Lantern and the Fighting Cock, and Eagle novel, published by Hulton Press in 1958 
  • 'How Eagle Stimulated My Love of Nature' - on the various natural history feature strips in Eagle, including those attributed to George Cansdale and John Dyke 
  • 'ABC Film Review' - on the long-running publication that was originally tied to the ABC cinema chain, focussing on the December 1952 (Christmas) issue which included a 'Jeff Arnold' strip

Friday, 24 October 2014

Eagle Times Vol 27 No 3

Autumn 2014 Contents
  • 'Frank Bellamy - trademarks and techniques' - on the development of the skills of one of Britain's greatest illustrators and comic strip artists
  • 'The two artists of Jack o'Lantern' - comparing Robert Ayton, the artist who drew the majority of the Jack o'Lantern strip, and Cecil Doughty, the artist who replaced him for the last 30 or so episodes
  • 'In and Out of the Eagle' - another couple of doses of the series presenting collections of Eagle-related snippets
  • 'PC49 and the Case of the Rajah's Ruby' - a text story adaptation from one of Alan Stranks' original BBC radio plays telling the adventures of an East End "copper".
  • 'Comics Unmasked' - a review of the exhibition, subtitled 'Art and Anarchy in the UK', which was held at the British Library from 2nd May - 19th August 2014
  • 'Bellamy at home' - some rare pictures of Frank Bellamy, donated to the Eagle Society by Frank's widow, Nancy Bellamy, some years ago and published in Eagle Times for the first time
  • 'A Table of Cutaways' - a member ranks and discusses his favourite centrespreads from Eagle
  • 'More Art of Tacconi' - as an addendum to the recent series on the artist FernandoTacconi, some more examples are shown from his prolific output for comics and magazines
  • 'Remembering Mission of the Earthmen' - a re-look at the 'Dan Dare' story from Eagle in the early 1960s, drawn by Don Harley and Bruce Cornwell
  • 'Colin Pillinger - farewell to a starman' - the life of the Cambridge planetary science professor, best known for Britain's Beagle 2 Mars mission, as reported by the local press, and recollections by a member of the Eagle Society of the professor's talk to the Eagle Society at Manchester in 2004
  • 'Frank Bellamy's Heros the Spartan' - a review of the recently published book, which reprints all Bellamy's 'Heros the Spartan' strips from Eagle
  • 'Eric Bemrose, Sun Printers and Eagle' - on the part apparently played by Sun Printers (Watford) in the early days of Eagle, before the Bemrose photogravure presses were ready to take on production 
  • 'Eaglewall kits in Eagle' - on the advertising carried by Eagle for the aircraft and naval plastic construction kits produced by Eaglewall Plastics Limited in the late 1950s - early 1960s, including their appearance in 'Eagle Window'
  • 'Rivals of Jeff Arnold: No. 14 - The Cisco Kid' - recalls the origin of The Cisco Kid in a story by O. Henry, through movies, a 1950s TV series (the first filmed in colour) and into comics

Monday, 30 June 2014

Eagle Times Vol 27 No 2

Summer 2014 Contents
  • 'Chad Varah's uncredited written work for Eagle' - Although some of Chad Varah's contributions were given visible credit at the time of publication, others (including his script for the 'Dan Dare' story 'Marooned on Mercury') were not. This article reviews Chad's uncredited contributions to the early Eagle and to Eagle Annual
  • 'In and Out of the Eagle' - another double dose of the series presenting collections of Eagle-related news snippets 
  • 'PC49 and the Case of the Manilla Envelopes' - another text story adaptation from one of Alan Stranks' original radio plays about an East End "copper". 
  • 'Navy Mints and Swizzels Matlow' - on the search for information about the advertising comic strip, featuring Minty, Fruity and Scotty, that appeared in Eagle from 1954, drawn by Roland Davies 
  • 'Lost Eagle - the solution to the Eagle Force mystery' - in a follow-up article to the one he wrote for Eagle Times Vol 26 No 2, Jeremy Briggs finally tracks down the answers to questions that began in 2010 with some mysterious artwork that appeared in Daniel Tatarsky's Dan Dare: The Biography 
  • 'Happy Days - Growing up in the fifties' - a member looks back at those supposedly grey days of austerity and recalls it as a more colourful time than many in the media might now suggest 
  • 'An Eagle Mug Shot' - one of the first 1950s Eagle Club members who, at the age of 14, was awarded the "Mug of the Month" award by Eagle for taking care of the livestock when his farming father fell ill 
  • 'Silver Eagler' - a 1956 recipient of the Silver Eagle Award. (Silver Eagle was the new name for Eagle's Mug of the Month award, from 1954) 
  • 'The Eagle Society Annual Dinner, 2014' - a photo-illustrated report on activities at the Annual Gathering of the Eagle Society, which was held in April at St Albans, Herts. 
  • 'War with the Sioux by Hollywood and Eagle' - comparing the story of "Custer's Last Stand", as told by Hollywood in The Great Sioux Massacre and Eagle in the 'Jeff Arnold' strip 'The War with the Sioux' 
  • 'Dangerous Dreamer - The Eagle back page story that never was' - on the aborted strip about T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia) that, had it not been cancelled, would have been drawn for Eagle by Jack Daniel 
  • 'The Lost World' - a review of the adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous story that appeared in Eagle in 1962, scripted by Richard Jennings and drawn by Martin Aitchison 
  • 'Southport Observatory' - an appeal regarding the restoration of the Great Astronomical Observatory in Hesketh Park in Southport, Eagle's birthplace 
  • 'Eagle's other cereals' - the breakfast cereals that were advertised in Eagle during the 1950s and 1960s, and the interesting items (cut-outs, etc.) that featured on the backs of the packets 
  • 'Marcus Morris and Eagle: approved reading for boys in the 1950s and 1960s' - a reprint (with permission) of an article by John Springhall that appeared in The Historian, the magazine of The Historical Association, in Summer 2013 
  • 'The 1954 Horlicks Spaceship Offer' - on the special offers for 'Dan Dare' spaceship models that were available to exclusively to members of the Horlicks Spacemen's Club. (Horlicks were sponsors of the Dan Dare serial on Radio Luxembourg) 

Monday, 31 March 2014

Eagle Times Vol 27 No 1

Spring 2014 Contents
  • 'The Lakeland Motor Museum' - an article focussing on the Campbell Bluebird Exhibition, recalling the former world land and water speed champions Malcolm Campbell and (his son) Donald Campbell, who featured in a number of articles and cutaway drawings in Eagle
  • 'The 2013 Marcus Morris Award' - Terry Mansfield's citation to the 2013 winner of "UK's highest accolade in magazine publishing" (named after Eagle's co-creator and first Editor), which was presented to Nicholas Coleridge on 8th October 2013
  • 'In and Out of the Eagle' - a double-dose of a new series presenting collections of Eagle-related news snippets
  • 'PC49 and the Case of the Park Café' - another text story of London's East End "copper", adapted from one of Alan Stranks' original radio plays
  • 'Remembering Project Nimbus' - a re-look at the 'Dan Dare' story from 1960, when the Eagle mast-head changed, 'Dan Dare was 're-vamped' (under editorial orders) and which brought to a close Frank Bellamy's contribution to 'Dan Dare'
  • 'More on Nando Tacconi' - a follow-up to the appreciation of the artist which appeared in Eagle Times Vol. 25 No. 3, with further information on his work
  • 'Some thoughts on Impulse Waves' - regarding the nature of the fictional propulsion system devised by Frank Hampson (or possibly Arthur C. Clarke?) to overcome the limitations of rocket power in travelling about Dan Dare's solar system 
  • 'José Ortiz Moya' - obituary of the artist, known as José Ortiz, who drew for both the original Eagle and the 1980s re-incarantion, "new" Eagle 
  • 'The Death of Swift and the Eagle Takeover' - on the demise of Eagle's companion paper and the changes in Eagle as it became Eagle and Swift in 1963 
  • 'The Rivals of Jeff Arnold No. 13: Wyatt Earp' - on the real-life character who lived inside and outside the law, and his appearance as a character in British comics, particularly Junior Express Weekly and Swift
  • 'Lt. Col. Pinto - The Spycatcher' - on the Dutchman whose memoirs of his World War II work for British Intelligence inspired a BBC television series Spycatcher (1959-61) starring Bernard Archer, as well as the comic strip 'Col. Pinto' in TV Express Weekly (1961), and who was featured in an Eagle supplement, The World of Espionage, in 1966 
  • 'A comic remembered - Guns of Fact and Fiction'- recollecting a graphic 1948 comic (reprinted in Britain in 1950), which is now a collectable item but which "was the type of comic that Marcus Morris was very much against" 
  • 'Leslie Robert Thomas Bartholomew' - a personal tribute from a former Eagle staff-member with memories about the man who took over editorship of Eagle in 1962 with "a certain yearning to restore Eagle to its old image", but who was destined to manage its decline 
  • 'Stories from the Three Mustardeers' - on the origins with the crime writer Dorothy L. Sayers of the advertising feature stories from Colman's Mustard that appeared in Eagle every month from 1951-54
The cover of this issue of Eagle Times shows the cover of Eagle and Boys' World,  Vol. 18 No. 37 (9th September, 1967), featuring 'The Campbells: Legends in Their Lifetimes'

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Eagle Times Vol 26 No 4

Winter 2013 Contents

  • An appreciation of the work of artist Peter Jackson, whose illustrations appeared in The Evening News, Look and Learn, Express Weekly (for whom he drew the strip 'Mark Fury') and Eagle - for whom he drew the true-life stories 'The Great Explorer' (David Livingstone), 'The Travels of Marco Polo' (taking over when Bellamy moved on to 'Dan Dare'), and 'Gordon of Khartoum'
  • An obituary of Bob Bartholomew (1923-2013) Eagle's Editor from 1962 - 1969
  • 'TV21 revisited' - another look at TV Century 21, a rival paper to Eagle, that was published from 1965 - 1971 with contents largely devoted to strips based on the Gerry Anderson Television series such as Stingray and Thunderbirds, and which used a number of former Eagle artists including Frank Bellamy, Richard Jennings and Eric Eden 
  • 'The Rivals of Jeff Arnold No. 12: Roy Rogers' - on the man who took the acting name of Roy Rogers and appeared in numerous western movies from the mid-1930s, inspiring a prolific number of comics and books from the 1940s through the 1950s
  • David Jacobs, C.B.E. (1926 - 2013) - an obituary of the prolific British broadcaster, disc-jockey and actor, fondly remembered by many for his contribution to Charles Chilton's Journey into Space radio series in which, as well as being the announcer, he took on a total of 22 different roles
  • 'Miraculous survival of the last Frank Hampson artwork' - on the mural 'Inventions That Altered Our World', the last piece on which Frank Hampson worked before his death in 1985 and which had to be restored after 1987, when the garage it was stored within lost its roof in the great storm 
  • 'Hornblower in Eagle - Part 2': on the final two strip stories based on C.S. Forrester's Hornblower books that appeared in Eagle, and the enduring popularity of the character
  • 'It's Not Rocket Science' - a reflection on the difficulties of modern life. Eagle Society member Steve Winders' amusing after dinner talk from the 2013 Eagle Society gathering at Leamington Spa
  • 'PC49 and the Case of the Lost Christmas Tree' - a seasonal crime caper for Eagle's "copper", adapted from one of Alan Stranks' radio plays 
  • 'Boys' World: Ticket to Adventure' - a review of Steve Holland's book about the short-lived rival to Eagle that appeared in 1963 and merged with it in 1964, after 89 issues
  • 'From Under the 1950s Christmas Tree: Eagle Guns' - on the various toy firearms that appeared in the 1950s, based on 'Dan Dare' and 'Riders of the Range' - from ray-guns to six-guns, water-pistols to cap-guns, projectors and torches
  • '50 years ago . . . the First Dan Dare Club began' - on the early days of 'Dan Dare' and Eagle fandom, and the publication of the first 'Dan Dare' fan magazine, Astral, "The Official Journal of The International Dan Dare Club"
  • 'The Beast in Loch Craggon' - an examination of the "monster" strip that ran in Eagle in 1963, drawn by John McLusky (who also drew the 'James Bond' strip for the Daily Express)
The cover artwork for this issue of Eagle Times is by Peter Jackson