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.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Eagle Times Vol 23 No 3

Autumn 2010 Contents
  • A look at the "Realtime" chronology of the original Dan Dare saga, from the birth of Sir Hubert (1943), to Dan's appointment as Spaceship Controller (2022) 
  • Memories of Marcus Morris - the man - provided by former members of the St James Youth Club, which was set up by Marcus in the 1940s.
  • A summary history of 46 years of Eagle enthusiast publications, from the Dan Dare Club Newsletter (1964) to Eagle Times (1988 to date).
  • The Case of the Lone Wolf - the first part of another 'PC49' story adapted from an Alan Stranks' radio play
  • The Name's the thing - a humorous look at the varied and strange names of aliens in the Dan Dare saga. 
  • Measuring Eagle's success - a look at the readership survey instigated by Hulton Press in 1950, which concluded that Eagle then had a readership of 60% of the boys of Britain.
  • Now you see him - now you don't - how in the early 1980s a flying Dutchman tried, and failed, to publish reprint books of the Eagle strips 'Heros the Spartan' and 'Dan Dare'
  • 'Rogue Planet' remembered - a personal reflection highlighting iconic moments from Dan Dare's 7th Eagle adventure.  
  • Putting Eagle Times together - how the editorial team (and some unsung helpers) put together a 56-page magazine every quarter 
  • 'Nightmare on Dreamland' - a look at the 1986 story from the "new" Eagle, when Dan Dare (the great-great-grandson) meets the original Dan Dare in an encounter with their arch enemy - the Mekon
  • Rivals of Jeff Arnold - the fifth in this ongoing series looks at the impact of western hero Davy Crockett, brought to screen in 1955 by Walt Disney. 
  • Eaglers of the future - a former Eagle reader introduces his collection to his grandchildren
  • Did You Really Shoot the Television? - a review of the Family Fable by Max Hastings, journalist son of Eagle's Special Investigator, MacDonald Hastings
  • Bill Dean, Kenneth McDonough and Ray Malstrom - a short illustrated article on the prolific model aircraft and vehicle designers who contributed to Eagle and Eagle books throughout the 1950s and 1960s 
  • Lancastria - a relook at Eagle writer Geoffrey Bond's book (published in 1959 and serialised in John Bull magazine), following the 70th anniversary (in June 2010) of the biggest maritime disaster in British History

The picture on this issue's front depicts the Launch of the Hirondelle by John Yardley (after Frank Hampson studio). It is based on the opening frame from the 4th episode of 'The Red Moon Mystery' first published in Eagle, Vol 2 No 29, 26th October, 1951.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Eagle Diary 2011 (review)

Here's a fun, but practical item from Orion Books. I've had mine for a little while now, but just got around to reviewing it.

The Eagle Diary 2011 is hard-backed, red-bound and features a red ribbon bookmark and a black elastic closure strap.

This follow-on from the publisher's Eagle Annual: Best of the 1950s Comic, Eagle Annual of the Cutaways and Eagle Annual: Best of the 1960s Comic draws on the same wealth of material - The Dan Dare Corporation's archive copies of the original Eagle

Measuring a respectable 8½ x 6 inches and ¾ inches thick and with 7 days per page the diary provides plenty of space for the diarist's own entries and features reproduced selections of artwork, advertisements, comic strips, etc. from the original Eagle. Other useful items of included information are: interplanetary dialing codes (though including one for the Sun might seem a little odd - perhaps it's a hot-line!), bank holiday dates, interplanetary flight schedules and a vintage wine chart covering wines from all the major planets, including (from Venus) Mekonta Special Brew.

An additional bonus: the edge of the pages serves for a flick book - whereby a rocket ship takes off (or descends if flipping in the reverse direction!)

As with the former Orion Books' offerings the diary has a "retro look" and there is a one-page introduction from Daniel Tatarsky. Somehow that "retro look" (which before gained criticism from some reviewers, including this one) seems more acceptable this time around.

This is a very attractive nostalgia (but usable) item, and would be an ideal Christmas (or other) present for any 'Dan Dare' fan or former Eagle reader - there should be plenty: a survey by Hulton Press in the 1950s indicated that at that time 60% of British boys read Eagle! 

Priced at £12.99, Eagle Diary 2011 (ISBN 978-1-4091-1269-3) is at the time of posting available at reduced price from a number of outlets, including: Waterstones (at £9.09) Amazon.co.uk (at £8.57), Play.com (at £9.99) W H Smith (£8.05)