Wednesday, 20 May 2015


The new EAGLE was launched on March 20th 1982 (cover-
dated 27th) and the Annual (for 1983) must have been prepared
pretty much around the same time as early issues of the weekly to be
on sale in the shops by August or September of that same year.  The
original Eagle comic had 24 Annuals (not counting numerous related
spin-offs) released throughout the '50s and into the '70s ('though the
comic was merged with LION in 1969, a mere nine issues short of
its 1000th issue), but the new version could only manage ten,
plus two DAN DARE books, four years apart.

So, that's a dozen books in all for the resurrected title, which
is enough of an excuse for me to do a cover gallery featuring them
on this blog.  In the 1990s, the term 'Annual' came to be regarded
as old-fashioned for a while, and various companies started to refer
to them as 'Yearbooks' in an attempt to appear up-to-date and 'with
it'.  It didn't last for long and the old name eventually reasserted
itself, much to the delight of traditionalists like myself.

Some of these cover images are a bit lacklustre in my opinion,
but the ever-dependable IAN KENNEDY produced some good
ones, and one or two of the others aren't too bad.  In its latter stages,
the new Eagle became a monthly, featuring mainly reprinted material
(with the exception of the Dan Dare strip), and limped to a sad end in
1994.  However, the Annuals had predeceased it three years earlier.
Will we ever see the like of Eagle again, or does it belong in the
past, a relic of the time in which it was produced?

I'm sure you'll let me know what you think.


John Pitt said...

Although I had all the new Eagles, hoiday special and pocket libraries, I didn't have a single annual. There were always far too many "more important to me" annuals to get!
And yes, it's annual, not yearbook, for me too.
The very word "Eagle" is so associated with comic excellence, I cannot ever see it ever being attempted again.
Now, permission to click your gallery, sir?

Kid said...

Click away, sir.

DeadSpiderEye said...

Is that Mike Dorey on the cover of 92?

Kid said...

Dunno, DSE. Might be.

Phil said...

Great covers! I love the one with the pin up in the corner and the retro cover. I am particularly appalled by the extreme update of Dan Dare but there you have it.

Kid said...

As you'll know, Phil, Dan Dare was meant to be the star of 2000 A.D. back in 1977, but Judge Dredd soon eclipsed him. Readers of the original Dan must've been appalled at the new version. Incidentally, there was a Dan Dare in DC's Action Comics years before Hampson's strip, but he wasn't a spaceman.

Kid said...

Tell a lie - it was Fawcett's Whiz Comics #2 (which was the 1st ish), featuring Captain Marvel.

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