Sunday, January 06, 2008

Virgin's Dan Dare comic on the web, and other Dan Dare publications

Well, it's a very welcome surprise for me to see that Virgin Comics are posting episodes from their new monthly Dan Dare comic on their website - see the Official Dan Dare Digital Comic. Given that currently I'm in central rural Thailand thousands of miles from anywhere that I'm likely to be able to actually buy the real comic, being able to catch up with it online is a real treat! My thanks to Sir Richard Branson - "you're a right proper gentleman and no mistake, Sir Richard!" :-)

I have to confess that I quite like this latest and newest version of Dan Dare, so far anyway... However, I still think that Frank Hampson's original 1950 creation is the only version that really "cuts the mustard" in terms of the quality of artwork and storytelling. And please bear in mind that I grew up with the late-1970's 2000AD comic's "punk" version of Dan Dare, I didn't become fully familiar with the original version until the late 1980's, so I'm not biased towards the original through a nostalgic longing for it! :-) See these extensive Dan Dare Picture Galleries and Artwork Showcases to get an idea of what I mean - you can view imagery from all the different versions of Dan Dare through the years. I reckon anyone with a real eye for artistic quality will favour the Frank Hampson original over any subsequent version.

Lamentably forgotten by the popular press (plus myself in this very blog - doh!) during the August/September 2007 fanfare over the Virgin Comics announcement that they were bringing Dan Dare back into print in new comic-strip stories, was the fact that Dan Dare was actually already appearing in new comic-strip stories at the time. We all overlooked the fact that "Spaceship Away", a superb officially endorsed fan magazine, had been running (and indeed still is running) new "classic style" Dan Dare stories since its first issue back in 2003. Some of these new stories are lovingly illustrated by original 1950's and 60's era Dan Dare artists, so they really are true to the original Frank Hampson vision. So, if like me you have a desire to read as much Dan Dare as possible, visit their website over at to find out how to subscribe to this unique thrice-yearly magazine.

There is also a Dan Dare (and Eagle - the comic that originally featured the Dan Dare stories) fan club if you are interested in finding out more about the classic original 1950's and 60's era. Take a look at their very informative weblog over at the Eagle Times Blog, which also includes details of how to subscribe to the fan club and receive their excellent quarterly magazine.

1 comment:

Virgin Comics said...

Good to hear that you're enjoying the Dan Dare digital comic... stay tuned for more.