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.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Eagle Times Vol 28 No 3

Autumn 2015 Contents
  • 'The Story of Lightning': David Slinn, himself a contributor to Eagle and Swift in 1960, tells the background story of a new children's magazine that (never saw the light of day, but) was proposed for publication by the National Magazine Company Limited in 1973
  • 'PC49 and the Case of The Case of the Gypsy's Warning': one more in the series of adaptations from the PC49 BBC radio stories originally written by Alan Stranks  
  • 'Mark the Youngest Disciple': Part 2 of an examination of the background to Chad Varah's version of the events surrounding the Passion of Jesus, which appeared in Eagle between November 1954 and June 1955, drawn by Giorgio Bellavitis
  • 'Dan Dare's Back in Southport': a report on the new Atkinson Gallery in Southport, the birthplace of Eagle, which features a collection of 'Dan Dare' memorabilia on permanent display
  • 'How the Future Took a Turn for the Worse': regretting the change in predicted futures from Frank Hampson's vision in 'Dan Dare' to the dystopian visions predicted in the comics of today 
  • 'The Mystery of the Bovril Brigade Advertisement': on the two advertising strips which appeared in Eagle in 1962/63, drawn by Frank Hampson
  • 'In and Out of the Eagle' - some more of the series presenting collections of Eagle-related snippets
  • 'Eric Dadswell': on the artist, who drew for a number of Hulton's titles, including Girl, Swift and Eagle in the 1950s 
  • 'Biggles Flies With Eagle': recollection of the Biggles serials and short stories, written by Capt. W.E. Johns and which appeared in Eagle and its annuals
  • 'Pop Chalmers was created to say Thank You': How the National Coal Board commissioned 'Dan Dare' creator Frank Hampson to draw the advertising newspaper strip series 'The Chalmers' in 1962
  • 'The Eagle Riders of the Range Annual No 1': a review of the first of the scarlet-covered Hulton annuals, which followed five previous Juvenile Productions editions  
  • 'John Worsley - War Artist': a short article inspired by the inclusion of three paintings by John Worsley in the War Artists at Sea exhibition, which was held at Queen's House, Greenwich between February and August 2015. Worsley is better known to Eagle readers as the artist of 'PC49'
  • 'More on the Spaceship Builder Mystery': with thanks to Tony Knowles of the Midland Meccano Guild, some further information on the Dan Dare Spaceship and other manufacturers' spaceship kits 
  • 'Rex Milligan on Television': the details of Eagle's "first television star". Rex Milligan was created for Eagle by Jennings author Anthony Buckeridge, and was adapted for BBC television by Buckeridge himself in 1956. It beat John Ryan's 'Captain Pugwash' to television by a year, and 'Dan Dare' by forty six. 
  • 'Frontiers of Science': the roots of the informative strip from the last years of the Eagle (1967 - 1969)
  • 'When Dan and Digby sneaked into 2000AD': on the depiction of Dan Dare, with a striking resemblance to the Eagle original (rather than his 2000AD "reincarnation"), alongside a Digby lookalike (called "Wilmo") in the second 2000AD Annual  

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Eagle Times Vol 28 No 2

Summer 2015 Contents

  • 'Mark, The Youngest Disciple' - an examination of the background to Chad Varah's version of the events surrounding the Passion of Jesus, which appeared in Eagle between November 1954 and June 1955, drawn by Giorgio Bellavitis
  • 'Over to You, Joan' - some memories and insights into the Frank Hampson Studio, and the part played by Joan Porter as Hampson's assistant
  • 'Chicko' - an examination of three-panel comic strip by Norman Thelwell, featuring the longest-running character in Eagle after Dan Dare 
  • 'Saturday Morning at the Pictures, No 3: King of the Rocket Men' - another in the series looking at Saturday children's cinema matinees of the 1950s 
  • 'In and Out of the Eagle' - more in the series presenting collections of Eagle-related snippets
  • 'PC49 and the Cases of Stolen Liquour' - another in the series of PC49 stories adapted from Alan Stranks' BBC radio stories
  • 'Centrespreads: The Journey into Space Connection' - on the artist Gordon Davies, who drew cutaway drawings for Eagle's centre pages, and book covers, including those for Pan Books' Journey into Space paperbacks
  • 'Rivals of Jeff Arnold No 16: Lash LaRue ' - the appearance of the western film star in movies and comics
  • 'Looking for L. Ashwell Wood' - Joan Porter recalls an episode from the early 1950s when, on press day, she went in search of the cutaway artist and his urgently needed artwork
  • 'The Solid Space Mystery' -  a re-look at the 'Dan Dare' story from Eagle, which was drawn by Don Harley and Bruce Cornwell, and kicked off in the last issue of 1960
  • 'They Helped to Bring You Eagle: No. 1 Bert Fielder' - the first in a new series, which begins with one of the less well-known people who worked on Eagle in the 1960s
  • 'The Dan Dare Dandies' - on the civilian modes of dress and fashion in Eagle's 'Dan Dare'
  • 'Yesterday's Tomorrow: A celebration of the launch of Eagle and the birth of Dan Dare' - a report on the one-day symposium held at the British Interplanetary Society on 14th April, 2015, the 65th anniversary of Eagle's launch  
  • 'WPC56' - a review of the television series featuring a female police officer, set in the 1950s
  • 'Anyone for Table Tennis?' - recollections of the Eagle and Girl Table Tennis Championships which were held between 1954 and 1964

Sunday, 21 June 2015

The Eagle Society Gathering and Annual Dinner, 2015



Tuesday 22nd - Thursday 24th September 2015

The Eagle Society's 2015 Gathering and Annual Dinner
will be held at the 
Campanile Hotel
40 Penn Street, Fenny Stratford, Bletchley, 
Milton Keynes MK2 2UA

The Programme will include talks, time for socialising and 
a tour of Bletchley Park followed by 
The Eagle Society's Annual Dinner

Bletchley Park is the once secret but now famous site of the UK's Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), who penetrated the secret communications of the Axis Powers, including the German Enigma cipher, and ensured the outcome of the Second World War.

More information about the Hotel can be found on the Campanile Hotel website
More information on Bletchley Park can be found on the Bletchley Park website

Price  (including meals and two nights' accommodation):  £160 pp (members and their partners); £175 pp (non-members)
For further information please contact Howard Corn at: howard.corn@virginmedia.com

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