Eagle Adventure Special
Published by Hibernia Press
With permission from the Dan Dare Corporation Ltd.
Available on Comicsy £7.00
64 Pages, Softbound
Colour and B&W
Edited for Hibernia by David MacDonald
Reprographics and Restoration by Richard Pearce
Cover Ian Kennedy
Hibernia have a track record of pleasing fans of British Comics with their top quality reprints. I’ve written articles on a number of them such as Tower King, Thirteenth Floor, Bakers Half Dozen and more
This edition brings together a number of different strips from throughout the history of this Comic, the relaunched Eagle from the 1982 to 1994. This gives this volume the true anthology feel of the original.
Richard Pearce recently shared a couple of images of before and after restorations on Twitter and they are included at the end of the article, after the full list of contents, with his permission.
This collection features some of the top British talent of the time and long term readers of comics from this era will recognise the names of the Script Writers, and Artists or at least the art styles.
Scripts from giants of the field such as John Wagner, Alan Hebden and Alan Moore. Illustrated by great Artists such as Carlos Ezquerra, Jose Ortiz, John Burns and Cam Kennedy. There is something for everyone in here.
These stories were aimed at an audience aged around 12 as sister comic 2000AD was starting to age with its maturing readership. The most recent strip in this collection is 29 years old so younger readers new to this title may find some of the stories a little dated. However this late 20th century classic ages very well.
Dan Dare was the poster-boy for the relaunch of Eagle and instead of using the 2000AD version of the character it was decided to return to a more traditional look. This Dan Dare was the great-great grandson of the original Eagle character from the 1950s. Though in 1989 a six part story was published featuring the original version.
There were several photo stories in the early days of the relaunch though these were later phased out. This collection features an example from the 3rd issue in a story from a series called ‘The Collector’ which told stories with a macabre twist, much like a Twilight Zone or Tales of the Unexpected. There is also an example of a story that started in Photo format but was later re-introduced in standard comic illustrated format, Doomlord.
At the time I liked the Photo format but it does look more dated than traditional illustration tends to.
Hibernia do their best to identify creators when there are no Credits on the pages. In several cases here they were unable to identify some of the Creators. They do no, for example, that though John Wagner and Alan Grant were the Creators of Doomlord and the most regular Script Writers neither could recall writing the example presented in this volume.
This is a great collection, Hibernia never fail to impress me with the quality of their reprints.
Dan Dare: Mekon Minefield
SCRIPT Barrie Tomlinson
ART Ian Kennedy
First published in Eagle #156-158 (16th March 1985 – 30th March 1985)
SCRIPT Alan Hebden
ART Carlos Ezquerra
First published in Eagle #259-261 (7th March 1987 – 21st March 1987)
Dolebusters: Night of the Werewolf
SCRIPT John Wagner
ART John Burns
First published in Eagle #250-257 (3rd January 1987 – 21st February 1987)
Doomlord: Servitor Vek
ART Jim Baikie
LETTERS Steve Potter
First published in Eagle Annual 1985
The Collector: Trash!
SCRIPT Alan Moore
PHOTOGRAPHY Sven Arnstein
LETTERS Steve Potter
First published in Eagle #3 (10th April 1982)
SCRIPT, ART & LETTERS Dave Follows
First published in Eagle Annual 1984
News Team: Meet the Team!
SCRIPT Alan Hebden
ART José Ortiz
First published in Eagle #100 (18th February 1984)
The Amstor Computer: #1971 – Dead or Alive
SCRIPT Ian Mennell
ART Cam Kennedy
First published in Eagle #126 (18th August 1984)
If You Go Down to the Woods Today…
ART José Casanovas
First published in Eagle #220 (7th June 1986); originally intended for publication in Scream! #17
Richard Pearce, the man behind the reprographics, restoration and presentation of this book says:
“As always with reprints of stories from this period, one of the biggest challenges is reproducing the stories well. Sadly, original art film etc. was lost, disposed of or scattered to the winds over the years, so the only way forward is to work from scans of the comics
“However, that doesn’t mean simply scanning a page, dropping it into a document and calling it a day! Lots of painstaking work is involved in clean-up, repair and presentation so that these tales can be reprinted in the best possible condition.”
Two examples follow
“First up, Doomlord! Featuring gorgeous colour art by Jim Baikie, this son of Nox deserved special attention!
“This page was scanned from an Eagle annual, but unfortunately it was damaged during prep – the left side of the page was torn, with a large split through part of the building. Careful use of the various Photoshop tools suitable for the job allowed the ragged edge to be cleaned up, and the split repaired as seamlessly as possible. Phew! A narrow escape from the wrath of Nox!”
“The second example I’ve got on hand – a page from Dolebusters, by John Wagner and John Burns.
“At some point during printing, a crease was formed along the top of every page. Unfortunately, this ran through captions and balloons. This required a bit more attention, as lettering had to be redrawn and some fine tweaks made. Once that was done, levels were corrected and “scruff” was painted out to give the art the best look possible. In the words of the Dolebusters, no job too small!”