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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.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Martin Aitchison (1919-2016)


The well-known and respected Eagle and Ladybird Books artist, Martin Aitchison, died peacefully on 22 October 2016 at the age of 96. He had a full life, remaining fit and well until 6 months before his death. He will be best, and most fondly, remembered by Eagle readers as the artist who drew the strip 'Luck of the Legion' from 1952 until 1961.

Born in Birmingham in 1919, after an early education at Ellesmere College in Shropshire, he attended Birmingham School of Art and the Slade School of Art. During World War II he enrolled with Vickers Aircraft at Weybridge, Surrey, as a technical illustrator and afterwards he became a free-lance commercial artist. 

His first published work was for Hulton Press' Lilliput. This was followed by work for Girl, when he was called upon to fill in for artist Ray Bailey on two pages of 'Kitty Hawk', and to draw 'Flick - and the Vanishing New Girl' for Girl Annual No 1

He became one of Eagle's major non-'Dan Dare' artists. For nine years he produced weekly strip artwork for 'Luck of the Legion', which was scripted by Geoffrey Bond. 'Luck of the Legion' was one of the few strips in Eagle that had the same artist throughout its run. He also drew for Swift and Swift Annual. When 'Luck' was dropped from Eagle, Martin drew a further three strips for Eagle, plus one for Eagle Annual, before leaving in 1963 to work for Ladybird Books. He became one of their principal artists and produced artwork for around 70 titles, until 1990. 

For members of the Eagle Society, their first acquaintance with the man, rather than his work, was when in 1996, Martin attended an Eagle Society Annual Dinner at Sparsholt, as Guest of Honour.

From 1998, although "retired", he teamed again with writer Geoffrey Bond and drew 'Justin Tyme - Ye Hapless Highwayman', a humorous strip, which ran for over 5 years in Eagle Times.

There is a list of Martin's Eagle work and references on our earlier blogpost: Eagle Artists - Martin Aitchison (from which some of this post has drawn).


2 comments:

Kid said...

Always a shame when one of the old guard passes. His work lives on 'though. Condolences to his family, friends and fans.

mind yer own said...

The Times obit said he filled in for Frank Hampson when Hampson was ill. Is there anything to this?

Nicholas Hill