on 23 March 2010
Hardcover with dust jacket, colour, 96 pages, 9 in. by 12 in. Published in November 2009; the twelfth volume in the Classic "Dan Dare - Pilot of the Future" series, published by Titan Books in the UK. This volume contains two stories, "Safari in Space," and the sequel, "Terra Nova," both of which which were originally published in colour on the front and second pages of EAGLE, the British weekly illustrated paper for boys, in 1959. In this volume from Titan Books, there is a page break after the conclusion of "Safari in Space" which allows the reader to look at each front page and second page of "Terra Nova" together. Both stories were written primarily by 'Dan Dare' creator Frank Hampson, and drawn by Hampson and his team of artists. The art and colour work in "Safari in Space" and the first part of "Terra Nova" are among the finest in the ten-year history of the original 'Dan Dare' feature. The last page that Frank Hampson drew for 'Dan Dare' is the first page of the episode of "Terra Nova" in Eagle Volume 10 Number 27; there is no publication date, as there was a printers' strike during July-August 1959. Perhaps as a farewell, the iconic characters that Hampson had created a decade earlier are not depicted in his final page of 'Dan Dare' artwork. Hampson moved on to illustrate a new feature that would later appear on the back page of EAGLE, "The Road of Courage" the Life of Christ, written by soon-to-be ex-editor Marcus Morris (and now published in "Classic Bible Stories" from Titan Books, available from Amazon.co.uk) Artwork for the 'Dan Dare' feature was carried on by Don Harley and other former assistants for Hampson, with the new addition of Frank Bellamy, who was moved to 'Dan Dare' in mid-assignment, after completing just eight episodes of the artwork for "The Travels of Marco Polo" appearing on the back page of EAGLE. Bellamy's artwork also appears in the next two 'Dan Dare' stories, "Trip to Trouble" and "Project Nimbus."
This is the twelfth book in the series of Dan Dare reprints from Titan Books. Dan and his friends are kidnapped from their `Safari in Space' by renegade scientist McHoo who plans to take them to the distant planet Terra Nova in search of his father and Dan's father. But life is not that simple for McHoo because Space Fleet are in hot pursuit to rescue resourceful Dan and friends. The second part of the story continues on `Terra Nova'. And you need to buy the next Titan Book to see the eventual conclusion in `Trip to Trouble'.
Additional extras include an overview of 'Dan Dare Abroad' by Richard Sheaf showing how Dan Dare fared in other publications and languages overseas, and a 'Who's Who in Dan Dare' for those too young to have enjoyed it first time round. All the books also include a 'Checklist' of all the main Dan Dare stories, when they were published, who they were written by, and which artists were involved.
The Safari in Space set was originally published in Eagle from 03/01/1959 (Vol 10, no 1), to 02/05/1959 (Vol 10, no 18). The Terra Nova set was originally published in Eagle from 09/05/1959 (Vol 10, no 19), to 21/11/1959 (Vol 10, no 40). Frank Hampson is the lead artist setting the style with help from Don Harley, and Frank Bellamy takes Hampson's place part-way through the second story. The print quality and colour fidelity is excellent, and my only remaining wish is that the pages could have been as big as the old 1950s Eagle page was. As it is older eyes need glasses to read the smaller lettering and appreciate all the superb detail of the drawing.
This is a definite trip down memory lane for the sixty-year-olds among us, and I was reminded also of many of the surrounding happenings at the time I first read these particular stories. So I found it was a very welcome 2013 Christmas present.
on 9 March 2010
did`nt know these stories were being reprinted, so i was thrilled to find thses in this formnat that really does the artwork justice, the colours really stand out and the quality of the book is superb, recommended for sci fi fans
'Safari in Space' is the first story in what came to be known as the 'Terra Nova trilogy'. 'Terra Nova' is also included in this book and 'Trip to Trouble' is in the next one.
For many people the Terra Nova trilogy represents the high point of Dan Dare's adventures. The scripts are good and the artwork is superb - up to about half way through 'Terra Nova' when Frank Hampson left; thereafter it is variable for a while until the team settles into its new pattern of working.. Frank Hampson was a great loss: he had created Dan Dare and over the years had developed the character. More than that, he had an eye for magnificent drawings that would make 'Eagle; stand out on the newsagents' shelves. Some of his finest work is to be found in this book. Take the 28 March 1959 copy as an example - a single drawing dominating the front page; colourful, futuristic and like nothing seen before for the children of the day. OK, today we live in an era where countless science fiction films have moved the genre along, but this was 1959. the space race was only starting and whatever appeared in 'Dan Dare' was down to the imagination and inventiveness of the team.
This book sees the team kidnapped and launched into a search for Dan Dare's father: a plotline that offers more than just 'good guys versus bad guys'. It is a very inventive script.
These Titan books are reproduced smaller than the original Eagle comics. The printing is good, as is the paper quality, so the stories are easy to read and the product has a high quality feel to it. The 'Hawk' books are bigger and heavier, but this is a wholly acceptable alternative. It would be churlish to subtract a star by comparing the two directly.
This book is great fun: nostalgic for those of us who grew up with the 'Eagle' and fascinating for later generations too. Throroughly recommended.
on 5 September 2011
Britain's famous pilot of the future returns in yet another ripping yarn. Action and excitement in a classic fifties style that still seems fresh today. I've been a Dan Dare fan for nigh on thirty years, my first introduction to the character being the, sadly often over-looked, Eagle Mark II version, and I praise Titan for collecting these original stories. I'm hoping that we will see re-prints of the 2000ad and my beloved eighties incarnations, too. For now, though, it is a pleasure to read and marvel at these anthologies. A must-read for any age and self-respecting comic fan.