Dan Dare - Pilot of the Future

Frank Hampson: from start to finish

Frank Hampson's first published strip cartoon - 1935
Frank's first published strip cartoon from The Post, July 20, 1935
From the book, Alan Vince, The Frank Hampson Interview
© Copyright Astral Publications, 1994.
(For bigger view, click on the image)

Chaplain Dare
Before Dan Dare appeared in its familiar form, Marcus Morris tossed around the idea of Dan as a chaplain - emulating Marcus himself in real life. Needless to say, chaplain Dare could have never achieved the familiar  popularity wearing a collar. From the book "Living with Eagles". Image supplied by: David Britton
(for the full page spread - 750x1273, click here). 

Marcus Morris left Eagle Comics after the original Hulton Press was taken over by Longacre Press in 1960 while Frank Hampson did likewise in April 1961. Their departures signalled a slow but sure demise of the Eagle and Dan Dare.

This was the cover of the Eagle Dummy which Marcus Morris - the Eagle founder - showed to prospective publishers from the beginning of 1949. Frank Hampson of course co-invented the Eagle and worked on this Dummy.

Hampson's first Dan Dare Cover
Hampson's first Dan Dare Cover
EAGLE Vol. 1, Issue 1, April 14, 1950.
(For larger view, click on above image)

Hampson's last Dan Dare Cover
Hampson's last Dan Dare cover
Eagle Vol 10 - No. 27 - Terra Nova Trilogy (1959). Compare this to the beautiful original artwork here!
(For larger view, click on above image)

Hampson's first D.D. cover
Hampson's first depiction of the Treen capitial city Mekonta.
Eagle Vol 15 - July 21, 1950
(For larger view, click on above image)

Dan Dare by Frank Hampson - 1977
Frank painted this image some time before the 1980 EagleCon for his portfolio submitted to the Society of Strip Illustrators when he joined in 1977. It remained in his Bayford Lodge studio until its first public display at the 1980 event.
Photo and text by Adrian Perkins.
Stripey and Digby
This image of Stripey and Digby was painted by Frank at the same time as the one on the left.
Photo and text by Adrian Perkins.

The Road of Courage - Hampson's last strip cartoon - mid 1961

See also: Dan Dare / Frank Hampson in person

Frank Hampson biographies
Frank Hampson - his life and work, by Nicholas Hill
A Tribute to Frank Hampson - Blue Plaque

Dan Dare Artists, short Hampson bio by Andrew Paul

Article on how Arthur C. Clarke influenced Hampson in the Venus Story

Comic Art & Graffix Gallery Artist Biographies - Frank Hampson
Desperate Dan, Sunday Mail, August 26, 2001, by Jill Campbell Mackay
Frank Hampson, (lambiek.net)

How the Creator of Dan Dare is a Ladybird Legend in his own right

Reference Books

Frank Hampson Artwork
Terry Doyle
Eagle Vol.1, No.47, 1951
The Man from Nowhere
Frank HampsonOriginal Artwork sold at bookpalace.com
Originals owned by Nicholas Hill

London Science Museum Murals by Frank Hampson 1976
- Eagle Times, Christmas 1999

This parody of Eagle Comics characters was signed by Frank Hampson

Frank Hampson was most influenced by American science fiction artist Chesley Bonestell and Prince Valiant created by Hal Foster.

The following message might interest you. It was posted on: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dandare/message/241

From:  "Joanne Light" <lightjoanne@h...>
Date:  Wed Dec 19, 2001  8:56 am
Subject:  Want to read Dan Dare Comics
>From: Richard.Sheaf@u...
>Reply-To: dandare@yahoogroups.com
>To: dandare@yahoogroups.com
>Subject: [dandare] Frank Hampson & Ladybird
>Date: Tue, 04 Dec 2001 13:00:12 -0000
>Anybody in London until 05/01/02 is strongly recommended to check out
>the show currently on dispaly at:
>Chris Beetles Gallery, 8&10 Ryder Street, St James's, London, SW1Y 6QB
>It's a great show if you are at all interested in illustration as an
>art form.
>What makes it even better this year is the inclusion of 11 Frank
>Hampson Ladybird illustrations (from the Nursery Rhymes book).
>All rather gorgeous and priced approx. £450-£650 each.
>The show also features a number of Peter Brookes 'Dan Blair'
>illustrations for the 'Times' weekend edition. Less gorgeous and
>priced at approx. £1500 each.
>Think I know which I'd rather go for.

Dear Richard,

Where can I read the Dan Dare comics? My grandfather in Canada was the guy
who sent Frank Hampson (when he was a young boy) the American comics that
inspired him to create Dan Dare. But I've never read any of the comics.
How can I find them?

Joanne Light
Granddaughter of Charles Percy Light, brother of Frank Hampson's mother,
Elsie Light Hampson

Last Revised: July 16, 2002

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