EAGLE UK COMIC 26TH DECEMBER 1959 DAN DARE
TRIP TO TROUBLE
VOL 10 NO 45
PLASTIC HULL NAVAL GUNBOAT
and much more
CONDITION : GOOD . some soiling to cover, page tears to bottom of spine
Tilleys for Vintage Magazines : Comics
Eagle was a British children’s comics periodical, first published from 1950 to 1969, and then in a relaunched format from 1982 to 1994. It was founded by Marcus Morris, an Anglican vicar from Lancashire. Morris edited a Southport parish magazine called The Anvil, but felt that the church was not communicating its message effectively. Simultaneously disillusioned with contemporary children’s literature, he and Anvil artist Frank Hampson created a dummy comic based on Christian values. Morris proposed the idea to several Fleet Street publishers, with little success, until Hulton Press took it on.
Following a huge publicity campaign, the first issue of Eagle was released in April 1950. Revolutionary in its presentation and content, it was enormously successful; the first issue sold about 900,000 copies. Featured in colour on the front cover was its most recognisable story, Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future, created by Hampson with meticulous attention to detail. Other popular stories included Riders of the Range and P.C. 49. Eagle also contained news and sport sections, and educational cutaway diagrams of sophisticated machinery. A members club was created, and a range of related merchandise was licensed for sale.
Amidst a takeover of the periodical’s publisher and a series of acrimonious disputes, Morris left in 1959; Hampson followed shortly thereafter. Although Eagle continued in various forms, a perceived lowering of editorial standards preceded plummeting sales, and it was eventually subsumed by its rival, Lion, in 1969. Eagle was relaunched in 1982 and ran for over 500 issues before being dropped by its publisher in 1994.
The front cover of the first issue of Eagle, with artwork by Frank Hampson. Advances in printing technology offered a substantial improvement on the original issue’s faded colours. The logo was modelled on the top of a large brass inkwell owned by Marcus Morris, the comic’s founder, and typography was by Berthold Wolpe, designer of the Tempest font.
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