Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Travels across the Universe with a good guy .......... Dan Dare Pilot of the Future with that gentle optimism that was the 1950s

Now you can either face the world with the simple philosophy that the bottle is always half full or retreat into a dismal dark place, where it is always half empty, the sun never shines and the number 86 will always be late.

Of course in the real world there are plenty of awful things which no matter how many half full bottles you have they will never make it any better.

But the optimist in me always wins through and it is how I like my science fiction.

I have never been one for the disaster movie, the bug eyed monster or the evil supernatural beings, and I think that must be in part because I grew up with the Eagle Comic and in particular the exploits of Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future.

He was simply the best.

A clean cut brave chap who put loyalty and truth and fair play above all else and when faced with evil dealt with it in an honourable way.

Today those attributes wouldn’t count for much in many films but back in the 1950s with the backdrop of the Second World War that sort of hero could still be presented to young boys who lapped it up.

Dan Dare was the chief Space Pilot of Space Fleet, had been born in Manchester in 1967 and in his travels across space encountered a whole range of people most of whom shared his belief that peace and co-operation were better ways of doing things.

Of course he encountered the not so nice aliens but even these could be won over and usually their defeat was at the hands of a mixed bag of races from across the Galaxy.

He was created by Frank Hampson and appeared in the Eagle Comic from 1950 into the 1960s.

And while the world Mr Hampson created looks decidedly old fashioned today it was one that fitted that post war period of optimism and filled me with that simple belief that no matter what planet you were from or what you looked like you were bound to be decent, trustworthy and above all much the same as the people of Earth, which was and is a fine start to the day.

Nor is that all for I should have added that these models were made by Howard Love who like me has a long held fashion for all things Eagle.

His wife Ann, "Howard made them a few years ago from clay, air dried and painted.  He remembers getting the first magazine, and it was by copying the drawings of Frank Hampson that he became interested in drawing. this lead him into studying Art at College, and working in a design studio, before going into teaching"

Now you can't saying fairer than that, .......... not only did Dan Dare save the world umpteen times but set Howard off on his successful artistic career

Pictures; models of some of the people featured in the Dan Dare stories, courtesy of Howard Love.

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