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.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Eagle Society at Southport - video

Thanks to Chris Phillips there is a four-part video record of the Eagle Society's three days in Southport, celebrating Eagle's 60th Anniversary.

Part 1 includes the cutting of the Eagle 60th Anniversary cake, Steve Winders' after dinner tribute to Eagle - a humorous rendition entitled 'The Lion and Eagle' (based on the well-known comedy piece, Marriott Edgar’s 'The Lion and Albert'), and Nigel McMurray's introduction over dinner on the first evening.

In Part 2 Jim Ryder and Adam James provide the evening's entertainment on the first night, in the spirit of Jeff Arnold and the Riders of the Range, with 'cowboy' and country and western songs.

Part 3, takes us, among other things, on the 'Eagle Trail' on 14th April, led by local author and artist Peter Dyer, and visiting the places in Southport associated with the creation of Eagle - including the famous 'Bakehouse Studio'.

Part 4 covers the events of the 15th April, including John Swan's review of Portuguese and other "Eagles", and a meeting with some of the Eagle Times editorial team.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Eagle's (and Dan Dare's) 60th Anniversary

Sixty years ago, on 14th April, 1950, Hulton Press launched a revolutionary new paper for children (aimed at boys, but many girls read it too). The Eagle magazine was a new concept in juvenile publishing and its combination of four-colour photogravure and black-and-white pages presented a mix of fictional and factual material, in both picture-strip and textual form. Eagle was published weekly from 1950 until 1969, and is best known for the picture strip that for much of its history appeared on the front and inside-front pages: 'Dan Dare - Pilot of the Future', created for the Eagle by writer and artist Frank Hampson.

Edited by Marcus Morris, Eagle was destined so to brighten, and in some cases inspire, the lives of children in austere post-World War II Britain that, 60 years on, it is still fondly remembered. The fondness of our memory and our inspiration derive from the ideals and hard work of its creators, which provided a quality of writing and artistry, and a range of content, that surpassed that available in other juvenile publications of the time. Our earlier post Eagle - How it began provides a short introduction to the subject.

As the Eagle Society celebrates the 60th Anniversary of Eagle (in Southport where it all began) it is time to remember the debt we owe to the creators of Eagle, principally its first Editor the Revd. Marcus Morris and its lead artist Frank Hampson, but also the many other contributors (editors, artists and writers) who through their work (and often over-work), inspired Eagle's readers - some to be artists, some to be writers, others to be scientists, engineers, pilots or sportsmen. Though many of Eagle's contributors are no longer with us to hear it, we still say "Thank you".

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

UniComics 2010

Via our friends at Spaceship Away and Downthetubes we have learned of a new comics festival, which should be of interest to many Eagle Times readers and fans of Eagle and 'Dan Dare'. The festival will be held at the De Havilland campus of the University of Hertfordshire at Hatfield, Herts. from Thursday 22nd – Sunday 25th April 2010.

According to the Press Release, UniComics "will feature a varied programme of ticketed and non-ticketed events suitable for just about everyone". The festival "comprises a selection of author/illustrator lectures, schools and family events, film presentations and screenings, open mic sessions, theatre performances, art workshops and panel discussions."

It is a panel discussion on 25th April that will be of most interest to Eagle and 'Dan Dare' fans, viz:
Sunday 25th April, 6pm - 8pm: Weekly British Spirit - Sixty Years of the Eagle and Dan Dare
On April 14th, 1950, a new boys' comic called the Eagle vigorously introduced some wonder in to the drudgery of post-war Britain and, with its star strip 'Dan Dare: Pilot of The Future', showcased a profoundly alluring fantasy of a strong and vital Britain in then far-flung 1997 that boldly led the way in the exploration of outer space. One of the most successful comics in British history, at its height, the Eagle remarkably sold just under a million copies a week. In celebration of the 60th anniversary of both this landmark, much-beloved title and its highly-memorable flagship character, UniComics presents a panel discussion to explore what is considered to be one of the high watermarks of British Comics history. The panel includes Pat Mills (founder of 2000AD), Nick Jones (founding editor of Titan Book’s Dan Dare library), Dr. Will Brooker (Kingston University) and Gary Erskine (artist, Virgin Comics’ Dan Dare). Hosted by Danny Graydon.

Tickets are priced £10 (full) £8 (concessions), £5 (students and children).
More information at the Unicomics website or download a pdf of the Programme

UniComics is presented by the University of Hertfordshire in collaboration with Laydeez do Comics, Herts County Council (Libraries), the St Albans Children’s Book Group, the Hertfordshire Film Consortium and Danny Graydon (Film and Comics Journalist).