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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, 20 May 2008

Eagle's cutaway drawings

Eagle's cutaway drawings feature ran from the very first issue, 14th April, 1950, until 19th April, 1969 (Vol 20, No 16). The run was not continuous - on about 40 occasions other features replaced it, such as 'Chicko's Christmas Party' (1954 Christmas issue) or, on 14 occasions, the results of painting competitions. Also, some features that are sometimes counted as part of the series are not strictly "cutaway" drawings. It was not headlined as 'An Eagle Cutaway Drawing' until 1963. It was however, the longest running feature in Eagle (since, apart from a four-episode original story which began at the end of Vol 18, 'Dan Dare' had gone into reprint at the beginning of Vol 18, and remained as such until Eagle's demise in 1969 (Vol 20 No 17).

From 1950, and for over a decade, "cutaways" filled the top half of the centre pages as a full colour centre-spread. Later the feature was moved, initially still in colour, to fill the back page and then back inside the magazine, but on a single page in black and white. There seemed no limit to the technologies covered: from the historic, to the contemporary, to the futuristic: trains, boats and planes, trams, hovercraft and rockets, spacecraft, cars, buses, motorways, underground railways, fighting vehicles, motor cycles, power stations - and the photocopier.

By far the most prolific artist was Leslie Ashwell Wood, an example of whose work is seen above*. Of the (depending how you count it) 946 issues of Eagle that included cutaways, 617 were by him, including the very first, and the last (in the penultimate issue of Eagle).

In all, around two dozen artists contributed to the feature, the most notable after Leslie Ashwell Wood being: J. Walkden Fisher, John Batchelor, Geoffrey Wheeler, Laurence Dunn, Hubert Redmill and Roy Cross. It is likely that in many cases authorship of the text that accompanied the drawings is attributable to the artists themselves. This is certainly the case for the leading artists, who would have done their own technical research, and may be true for many of the lesser-known artists too.

The following is an alphabetical list of all the artists who are known to have contributed to Eagle cutaways, together with the numbers of their contributions. In some cases only a single name (presumably the surname) is known. Around a dozen contributions are unattributed to any known author.
  • P. J. Ashmore (1)
  • John Batchelor (44)
  • __? Blake (1)
  • __? Bowyer ( 3)
  • Bruce Cornwell (4)
  • Roy Cross (23)
  • Gordon Davies (10)
  • Laurence Dunn (48)
  • Eric Eden (3)
  • Albert Charles Martin Ellis (3)
  • Dennis Fairlie (2)
  • Charles Hurford (4)
  • R. Nicholl (1)
  • Paul B. Mann (5)
  • Gerald Palmer (19)
  • Hubert Redmill (39)
  • T. C. Renwick-Adams (1)
  • John S. Smith (2)
  • J. Walkden-Fisher (59)
  • Brian Watson (1)
  • Geoffrey Wheeler (44)
  • Leslie Ashwell Wood (617)
Selected cutaway drawing from Eagle are reprinted in:
  • The Eagle Book of Cutaways, Denis Gifford (Ed.) Webb & Bower, 1988. (Although credited with featuring exclusively L. Ashwell Wood drawings, one illustration, of Dan Dare's 'Anastasia' spacecraft, is by Eric Eden)
  • The Eagle Annual of the Cutaways, Orion Books, September 2008.
*The cutaway drawing of the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle by Leslie Ashwell Wood appeared as the centrespread in Eagle's second birthday issue, Vol 3 No1 (10th April, 1952).

1 comment:

Will Grenham said...

Thanks to Carole Sinclair-Smith letting me know her father's Christian names, and pointing out the article she wrote for the Eagle Times magazine Summer 2002 issue. I have updated the list.