It is a topic I keep coming back to and the reason is that back then it amounted to the best of British comics.
Its appeal crossed class lines as well gender and if my father was anything to go by attracted an older generation as well.
It came out each week and like other comics of the period had its own Christmas annual which was supplemented by books on some of the other leading characters.
But for me the Eagle Annual which first appeared in December 1950 was a must under the tree and it kept me going through the year, because here as well as comic strips were extended stories articles on sport , history science and nature.
Never being particularly practical most of these DIY projects rated little more than a second glance.
For me it was the sections dealing with history and the stories which drew me in.
And of the stories it was Dan Dare Pilot of the Future who always was my first choice.
Nor were the books or comics aimed at the middle class, for there was enough here for any lad like me whose highest aspirations seemed to be a secondary modern school and a future mapped out in one of any one of a number of practical occupations.
The activities were all rooted in things any nine year could do and the stories were in a world I understood.
And when they were based in space the Wild West or North Africa they were believable.
What is more the science of the future was our everyday life just a little different.
None of which should surprise us but allowed every nine year old to feel that this imaginary world was not so far off from their own everyday life.
So that said I shall this evening retreat into that world of the Eagle Annual leaving the cares of the 21st century behind.
Pictures; from the collection of Andrew Simpson
*The Eagle, http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/The%20Eagle