WITH JIM DUCKETT
Eagle Times features a regular column called In and Out of the EAGLE and we are going to feature some of these to give a flavour of the magazine's content.
Basil Dawson’s original EAGLE novel Dan Dare on Mars is well remembered by fans, but in 1977 the New English Library published a paperback adaptation of part of Frank Hampson’s first Venus story. The book was written by Angus P. Allan, a prolific comic strip writer, who contributed to TV Century 21 and became the principal writer for Look In, another comic based on television characters. He never contributed to EAGLE, but his father was Carney Allan, who wrote the wartime adventure strip Mann of Battle, which ran in EAGLE from 1962 - 64. The novel ends with Dan’s rescue of his friends from Mekonta and the Dapon’s sacrifice in destroying the Mekon’s Telezero ships, leaving out the Treens’ visit to Earth and the eventual defeat of the Mekon. Several frames from the original strip were used to illustrate the book, but reprinted in black and white.
1977 was a good year for Dan and EAGLE, for there was also Marcus Morris’ The Best of EAGLE, which reprinted extracts from many strips and features from the first decade of the weekly. Dan himself was revived for 2000A.D. comic, although in a much altered form, which did not please many of his old fans. The reason for this renewed interest was Frank Hampson’s Yellow Kid Award presented to him at an international convention of strip cartoon and animated film artists in Lucca, Italy, just two years earlier, when he was voted the best writer and artist of strip cartoons since the war by a jury of his peers. This awakened interest in him and in Dan Dare by the British press.