WELCOME

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 an A4, 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 8 May 2024

HARRY LINDFIELD

We have just learned that Harry Lindfield, who drew the 'Mark Question' strip in EAGLE, which ran from 1957 - 58 and was partly reprinted as 'Mark Mystery' in 1968, has sadly died at the age of ninety one. Harry also contributed to EAGLE's companion papers Girl and Swift, drawing the popular 'Belle of the Ballet' strip for Girl. He later illustrated 'Star Trek' for Joe 90 and then TV 21 weeklies, 'The Monkees' for Lady Penelope weekly and 'Doctor Who' for Countdown and TV Action weeklies. He was highly regarded by readers and other artists. Lew Stringer described him as "A quality artist who always produced top class work," and David Roach said "It takes real skill to draw figures as naturalistically as this and he must surely be one of our finest comic artists." By popular demand, his 'Star Trek' work has recently been published again in a collection. We send our condolences to Harry's family and friends.  

Sunday 5 May 2024

ROY CROSS 23rd April 1924 - 24th April 2024

I'm sorry to report that Roy Cross, the EAGLE and Airfix artist and accomplished painter of sailing ships has died, the day after his hundredth birthday. Scroll down to read our tribute to his distinguished career, which was posted on his birthday. Our condolences to his family and friends. 

Friday 3 May 2024

JON HAWARD (1965 - 2024)

We are sorry to report the death of Jon Haward at the early age of fifty eight, after a long period of ill health. Jon illustrated several 'Dan Dare' serials for the second version of EAGLE in 1990 and 1991, alternating with David Pugh. He also drew two 'Dan Dare' strips for the 1992 EAGLE Yearbook and a further strip for a Dan Dare Holiday Special. He subsequently worked on 'Spiderman', 'Judge Dredd', 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles', 'Biker Mice From Mars', 'Tales of Telguuth' and 'Sinister Dexter', among others. With the writer Alan Grant he created 'The Hell Crew' and 'Tales of the Buddha'. He also illustrated strip adaptations of the Shakespeare plays Hamlet and The Tempest. He created designs for computer games and theme park rides and illustrated children's books, joke books, card and board games and story boards for films.     


The first page of one of Jon's strips for the 1992 EAGLE Yearbook.
 

Monday 22 April 2024

HAPPY HUNDREDTH BIRTHDAY TO ROY CROSS

Congratulations to the former EAGLE artist Roy Cross on his hundredth birthday today (23rd April). Between 1960 and 1963, Roy illustrated twenty three cutaway drawings and a series of front page illustrations of cars for EAGLE and aircraft for Swift. His EAGLE cutaways covered a wide range of vehicles, including motor cycles, aircraft, a motor home, H.M.S. Devonshire and a Project Mercury Space Capsule. Born in Southwark in 1924, he joined the Air Training Corps at Camberwell in 1938, leaving school at fifteen in 1940 and working for a shipping agent, before getting a job with Fairey Aviation during the War as a technical illustrator for training manuals, having impressed with line drawings of aircraft which were published in the Air Training Corps Gazette. He was essentially self taught, although he briefly attended the Camberwell College of Arts and Crafts and later St. Martin's School of Fine Arts. Of his formal training he later said "...they couldn't teach me to draw planes," although he admitted "I learned a bit there, though." 

In 1943, he was commissioned to illustrate a book called The Birth of the Royal Air Force. After the War, he learned airbrush techniques when he joined a commercial art studies, 'Technical Designs Ltd'. In 1947, he became a freelance artist, producing artwork for several aircraft magazines in both Britain and the U.S.A. and advertising art for the aircraft industry, bus body manufacturers and other transport manufacturers. He also illustrated several more books, including one of his own, called Supersonic Aircraft in 1956, having become a member of the Society of Aviation Artists in 1954.   

While working for EAGLE and Swift, he also continued to write books on aircraft, producing two 'pocketbooks' for Batsford, about fighter aircraft and bombers. After EAGLE, he drew illustrations for the boxes of Airfix model kits from 1964 - 74. Beginning with aircraft kits, he also produced illustrations of cars, tanks, other military vehicles, railway engines, spacecraft and even people. In 1972 he illustrated a series of picture cards for Brooke Bond tea for their series 'History of Aviation'. The picture alongside is an example of Roy's work for Airfix and shows a De Haviland Mosquito in action.  


 In 1973, he moved into fine art, painting sailing ships, which proved so popular and lucrative that he was able to resign from Airfix and concentrate on this new area. His interest in ships had actually begun as a boy when he had gone for long walks along the Thames with his father, watching the merchant shipping on the river. He completed his first painting of a sailing ship - a Spanish Galleon, at the age of ten! His work found an enthusiastic market in America when Malcolm Henderson, whose London Gallery sold his paintings, relocated to Washington and established a new gallery there in 1975. Unsurprisingly, in view of his past experience, his work was noted for his attention to detail and historical accuracy. In 1977 he was elected a member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists. There have been several exhibitions of his work in the U.S.A. The above painting is called 'America' off the Needles 1851. 

Over the years, he has written and illustrated several more books, about aircraft and ships and illustrated books by others. His most recent book is The Art of Roy Cross, published in 2019. The EAGLE Society were delighted to welcome Roy to our Gathering at Portsmouth in 1997, where he spoke to us about his life and work.  




Saturday 20 April 2024

EAGLE TIMES VOL.37 NO.1 SPRING 2024

The first EAGLE Times of 2024 is out now. With articles about 'Knights of the Road' from EAGLE and the 'Dan Dare' story 'Operation Moss' from EAGLE Annual No.8 and features about Milton Caniff, 'Captain Marvel', two American comics called EAGLE, 'Thinking Comics' and the artist Lily Renee, it is a wide ranging issue. There is also the first part of a new Archie Willoughby story, which features a well known EAGLE writer. Contributors to this issue are Allan Palmer, David Britton, Eric Fernie, Adam Goodman, Jim Duckett and myself.

The first issue of a new year is a good time to subscribe and details of how to subscribe or obtain a copy are are on the right.  

Steve Winders

Saturday 30 March 2024

IN AND OUT OF THE EAGLE 50

There were two 'Dan Dare' Annuals during the run of the original EAGLE, another in 1973 (for 1974), two more for the 2000 A.D. version of Dan and another two during the run of the 1980s EAGLE. However the EAGLE strip which had most annuals was 'Riders of the Range', which had an annual every year from 1951 until 1961, making eleven in total. The first five were published by Juvenile Productions, under licence from EAGLE and the last six were published by Hulton and later Longacre Press, who also published EAGLE. Confusingly, these last six annuals were numbered from one to six. All the annuals were credited to Charles Chilton, who created 'Riders of the Range' originally for B.B.C. radio, but also wrote all the 'Riders' strips in EAGLE. The annuals included adventure strips and text stories featuring the main characters as well as illustrated articles about aspects of the American West, including weapons, Native American traditions and practices and articles about the real people and events that made the West. They also included practical activities, such as how to make a Native American war bonnet and bow and there were Western related puzzles and games. 

The books were predominantly black and white, but each of the Juvenile Productions annuals included several colour plates, while the later Hulton and Longacre ones each contained a single colour plate. The strip's longest running artist, Frank Humphris produced a few illustrations for text articles, but he  was usually too busy working on the weekly strip to contribute to the annuals and a host of artists were used over the years. These included Harry Bishop, Roland Davies, Frank R. Grey, Michael Godfrey, James Holdaway, Richard Jennings, C.G. Kingshott, James E. Mc Connell, Bill Mevin, Pat Nevin, Angus Scott, Desmond Walduck, Pat Williams and Roy Williams. The annuals proved extremely popular, despite the radio series ending in 1953 and the final annual in 1961 (dated 1962) was published just a few months before the EAGLE strip ended in March 1962. 

Thursday 28 March 2024

THE 'RETURN' OF STORM NELSON

Three years ago I gave a speech at the EAGLE Gathering in Southport where I commented on the number of storms that were battering the country. I said that giving them names was only encouraging them and that I was looking forward to 'Storm Nelson'. Well now we have 'Storm Nelson'. Named by the Spanish Weather Service, it has brought strong winds, heavy rain and low temperatures to Britain, with snow in places. EAGLE's Storm Nelson was a 'sea adventurer', who owned a Fleet of marine vehicles, including a ship, a motor launch, a submarine and a small helicopter, which he and his team used to right wrongs all over the world. The strip, by Guy Morgan, who wrote as Edward Trice, began in October 1953 and ran until March 1962. Morgan was a film and television writer who also wrote a 'Storm Nelson' novel, Storm Nelson and the Sea Leopard. Most of the stories were drawn by Richard Jennings, who also took over the writing of the strip for the final year. Giorgio Bellavitis also illustrated two stories. 

Steve Winders