Dan Dare weekly British comic by Frank Hampson, 1950
'Dan Dare'. 

Frank Hampson was only thirteen when he got an assignment to draw sketches for Meccano Magazine. At the age of twenty, he started studying at the Victoria College of Arts & Sciences. During World War II, he served in the Royal Army Service Corps and became a lieutenant. At the end of the war, freshly married, he started attending the Southport School of Arts and Crafts and tried to make a living doing freelance jobs. One of his fellow pupils was Eric Eden, who'd later become a scriptwriter for 'Dan Dare'. Hampson also met Marcus Morris, a vicar, who had ambitions for founding a national Christian magazine, The Anvil, with a special emphasis on material for youngsters.

Dan Dare. by Frank Hampson 1950
'Dan Dare'. 

Eventually, Morris employed Hampson full-time, and they created Eagle, the magazine that featured the popular 'Dan Dare' comics, 1950. Hampson started out doing all the work single-handedly, but soon gathered a large crew of hard working artists around him, including artists Bruce Cornwell, Desmond Walduck, Harold JohnsDonald Harley, David Pugh and Keith Watson, as well as writer Alan Stranks, Eric Eden and scientific consultant Arthur C. Clarke (later famous as SF novelist and author of '2001: A Space Odyssey'). The years between 1955 and 1959 were the heyday of the Eagle studios. In addition to 'Dan Dare', Hampson has worked on a variety of other strips for Eagle, such as 'The Great Adventurer', 'Tommy Walls', 'Rob Conway' and 'The Road of Courage'. After this, with a new editor, Frank retired from the 'Dan Dare' strip, leaving it to Frank Bellamy. In 1975, he was given an award recognizing his work at the Comic Festival in Lucca. He died of a stroke in 1985.

Frank Hampson was an influence on Oliver Frey. and John Riordan. In the 1960s Leo Baxendale drew a parody of Dan Dare, titled 'Danny Dare', published in WHAM! magazine. 

Dan Dare in Dutch, by Frank Hampson 1960
'Daan Durf', Dutch-language version of 'Dan Dare'.


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