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.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Eagle Times Vol 23 No 2

Summer 2010 Contents 
  • A photo-illustrated report on the Eagle Society's April 2010 gathering  to celebrate Eagle's 60th Anniversary in Southport
  • 'Scale-face speaks with Thorked tongue' - a look at the ways in which alien languages were treated in the Eagle's 'Dan Dare' saga
  • 'Jim Stalwart' - part  2, covering story synopses and foreign reprints of this "forgotten" strip from 1954, drawn by Bruce Cornwell for Junior Mirror
  • 'Eagle's "No!" to Frank Humphris' - describing how in 1962 the editor of Eagle rejected the idea from Britain's leading western artist for a 'True Stories of the West' series 
  • 'I was There' - some third-party recollections of when, in 1980, space artist David Hardy met 'Dan Dare' creator Frank Hampson 
  • 'More complaints from the Dustman?' A look at some of artist Ron Embleton's lesser known work
  • 'Rivals of Jeff Arnold' - the latest in this series examines the depiction in films and British comic strip of the masked avenger - 'The Lone Ranger'
  • 'What the papers say' - topical press coverage of Eagle's 60th Anniversary
  • 'Plastic Ship Kits by Eaglewall' - a review of some of the "Authentic Plastic Assembly Kits" made by Eagle/Wall Plastics Ltd in the 1950s
  • 'Haynes Apollo 11 Owners' Workshop Manual' - a review of the recently published book
  • 'The Case of the Begging Girl' - a 'PC49' story adapted from Alan Stranks' radio play
  • 'This is where we came in' - recollections of the origins and activities of the Astral Group 'Dan Dare' Club in the 1970s
  • 'Eagle Annuals' - a fond look back and review of the first ten Eagle Annuals, published between 1951 to 1960
  • 'Frank Bellamy's The Story World War 1' - a review  of the book which collects the series written by Michael Butterworth that was originally published in Look and Learn

The cover illustration shows the celebratory Birthday Cake which was cut and consumed by members of the Eagle Society  at the Southport on 14th April, 2010 - the 60th Anniversary of Eagle's first publication

    Wednesday, 9 June 2010

    The Eagle Story

    Readers of Eagle Times magazine will be aware that in the Spring 2008 issue, we publicised the existence and availability on DVD of The Eagle Story, a short documentary film, made by Cheshire-based, nonprofessional filmmaker, Frank Baker. The film was more recently seen by members of the Eagle Society who attended Eagle's 60th Anniversary in Southport in April 2010. Since then Frank has kindly made a video copy available on YouTube - and so it can appear here!   Thanks, Frank.

    In its ten minutes, The Eagle Story covers, briefly but effectively,  the history of Eagle and 'Dan Dare', from the beginnings in Southport and the setting up of the studio in Churchtown, through the move to Bayford Lodge in Epsom, the launch of Eagle's companion papers, 'Dan Dare' toys and merchandise, and the eventual unsympathetic take-over of Eagle by Odhams. Also covered are the later lives of Marcus Morris and Frank Hampson, including the latter's breakdown, and his later recognition as 'Prestigio Maestro' at Lucca. Some of the later commentary reflects the fact that this film was made a couple of years ago. For example, comments regarding the expected biography of 'Dan Dare' are somewhat dated - the book by Daniel Tatarsky is currently expected to be published by Orion Books in late October, 2010. 

    On 10th April, 2008, The Eagle Story  took the top prize in the  Inter-Club Competition at Southport giving, as I understand it, Swan Movie Makers (Wirral) their eleventh win in the competition. Although the film was submitted with less success to the OSFAF International Film Festival in Skopje, Macedonia, another of Frank Baker's films Knot in Motion saw more success (taking second prize) there. The Eagle Story was also nominated for the fledgling Wirral International Film Festival in November 2008. Frank tells us that after its success in the Inter-Club Competition, The Eagle Story was selected for the North v South Competition, winning the Mermaid trophy. A bit of internet searching tells me that the North v South Competition is run annually by the Institute of Amateur Cinematographers (IAC). The Mermaid Trophy is awarded to the IAC Region whose film receives the greatest number of audience votes.