Sunday, 1 January 2017

When a comic story holds more than a truth .............. stories from the Eagle

Now I have no recollection of post war rationing after all I was only four when it was finally abandoned.

But there will be plenty who not only remember it but will have stories of its impact on their daily lives.

Some of them will also have been regular readers of the Eagle comic which began in 1950 and continued into the following decade and here is the connection because running through several of the stories beginning with the first was how at a critical moment the Earth’s government was forced to introduce food rationing.*

Now even though I have read and re-read the stories countless times it never quite occurred to me that older readers of the Eagle would have vivid memories of both wartime and post war rationing.

That first Eagle story  was followed by the Red Moon Mystery when the planet was threatened by a rogue planet which had once destroyed all life on Mars and caused havoc before it was destroyed, which was repeated later by other stories which saw the earth’s population forced to be evacuated from their homes and ultimately  off the planet.

And when it wasn’t a natural disaster of sorts then there were always evil galactic nasties out on inter planetary domination of which the worst was the Mekon a not very nice dictator from Venus and his army of followers whose slavish devotion to their leader and ruthless behaviour would have been all too familiar to a generation that had been children during the last world war.

Of course such events are the stuff of good adventures and in slightly different forms will have appeared before and since but for those of us growing up in the 1950s they were pretty much a backdrop to the real thing.

Pictures; from Eagle Comics in the collection of Andrew Simpson

*The Venus Story, April 14, 1950 – September 28 1951

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