Frank Hampson

Frank Hampson, “Dan Dare: The Mushroom”, Eagle and Boys’ World, Volume 15, Number 43, October 24, 1964

“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 form Lancashire. Morris had edited a Southport parish magazine called “The Anvil”, but felt the church was not communicating its message effectively. Disillusioned with the current children’s literature, he and “The Anvil” artist Frank Hampson created a comic based on Christian values. Hulton Press agreed to publish it.

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”, a detective series. “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.

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