Last year Orion Books produced Eagle Annual: the Best of the 1950s, with the promise of this year bringing out a sequel, Eagle Annual: the Best of the 1960s. Well it now seems the latter has been put back a year, to 2009, and the intervening space will be filled by the Eagle Annual of the Cutaways, which is due for publication on 18th September, 2008. According to the Orion website, the book will be 176 pages (some sources are quoting a longer book, but this seems to be an error), which makes it the same length as last year's Annual - although it will be priced £2 more at £14.99.
To quote Orion's publicity:
"After Dan Dare, the most famous and fondly remembered part of the Eagle comic was the cutaway. Basically, these were beautifully detailed drawings of the inner workings of pretty much anything: from steam trains, jet liners and racing cars, to oil wells, suspension bridges and tube lines beneath Piccadilly Circus. The Eagle had a team of three or four artists, but the king of the cutaway was undoubtedly L. Ashwell Wood, whose forensic attention to detail - be it a cross section of the Cutty Sark or a grand landscape of how electricity is generated - enthralled a generation of school boys."As seen above, the book will have the "distressed look" of last year's Annual. We have seen it reported elsewhere that the "distressed look" will be confined to the cover. This appears to be based on some illustrations that appeared in a Daily Mail article (9th May, 2008) about the Dan Dare and the Birth of Hi-Tech Britain exhibition at London's Science Museum. However, a 12-page handout on the Eagle Annual of the Cutaways that was made available at the press launch of the Dan Dare and the Birth of Hi-Tech Britain exhibition implies otherwise. Unless the publishers have had a change of heart since printing that handout (which, to be fair is identified as an "uncorrected proof sampler - not for resale or quotation"), the distressed look will pervade the whole book. Which will not please many of Eagle's original readers, judging by some of the reactions we heard to last year's Annual.