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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.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

"The magazine for mugs"

In the online archives of Time magazine is a review from 1 May, 1950, of a new British story paper "the spanking new London weekly Eagle, dazzlingly successful magazine brain child of a boyish, 35-year-old vicar of the Church of England" (Marcus Morris), and published by "Hulton Press, owners of Picture Post (circulation 1,500,000)".

This contemporary report from "across the pond" indicates the nature of the publicity machine of Hulton Press, and the impact the arrival of Eagle had. According to the Time report, 750,000 copies of the first issue sold out, and there were "1,986,000 cash-backed orders from newsdealers for the second issue".

According to Marcus Morris' account, and his official biography, it was a print run of 900,000 that sold out in the first week. But, acccording to his biography, things went horribly wrong for the second issue, when the printing press broke down and only 300,000 were printed. There must have been a lot of disappointed readers that week, and disgruntled newsagents! By the third week, and following announcements in the British national press that "There is a national shortage of EAGLE - but more copies are coming soon!", production was "back to normal" - and was soon in excess of 1 million copies per week.

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