Thursday 7 April 2011

Dan Dare Revisited - Ian Kennedy's Take on a UK Classic

Courtesy of Malcolm Norton here are some of Ian Kennedy's stupendous cover artworks for the Eagle Comic of the 1980's. The comic was launched with Gerry Embleton initially handling the drawing chores for Dan Dare, the rest of the comic being largely based on fumetti strips. Fumetti which in this context refers to photo based comic strips was very popular in European comics from the 1960's onwards and in the U.S. attracted the attention of James Warren who first employed it in the Harvey Kurtzman edited Help magazine as well as adaptations of horror films in his one off magazines Horror of Beach Party, The Mole Men and Curse of Frankenstein/ Horror of Dracula.

Gerry's stint on Dan Dare was however short lived and the man that picked up the reins was the ever dependable Ian Kennedy.

So here without further ado are some of those covers.

Images © IPC Media 2011


  1. Great to see these again! Wonderful things. Cheers for posting, Peter.

  2. Love Ian Kennedy's work - these are fantastic! I remember a sequence he drew of some space fighters that he'd based on WWI planes - DeHavilland Mosquitoes if I remember right - wonderful evocative stuff.

  3. Thanks for the positive feedback guys, I'm pleased to say that as a result of Malcolm Norton's generosity I have quite a few more of these lovely items to post.

  4. Beautiful. I wish we'd saved my brother's comics now...

  5. Excellent! Kennedy, like so many veteran British artists, deserve much more exposure. The 80s Eagle was so frustrating to me - I hated the photostrips, but loved the drawn ones like Dan Dare and Tower King.

    btw that was supposed to say WWII not WWI in my last comment - stupid typo gremlins!

  6. When I was growing up during the 1950s and 1960s Britain seemed to be a fantastic place for fans of Science Fiction strips. Frank Hampson, along with Don Harley, Frank Bellamy and Keith Watson (among others) led the field with the original Dan Dare, Brian Lewis had Captain Condor, John Gillatt had Jet-Ace Logan, Ron Turner had Space Ace and Rick Random, Don Lawrence had The Trigan Empire, Mike Noble had Fireball XL5 and Zero X, Ron Embleton had Bill Merrill, Stingray and Captain Scarlet, Denis Mcloughlin had Swift Morgan, Sydney Jordan had Jeff Hawke, Ferdinando Tacconi had Jet Morgan, and Ian Kennedy had...

    ...Four pages of Dave Garratt???

    Bearing in mind that adventures in outer space were so big during the immediate post-war years it's quite remarkable that we had to wait until the 1970s and 1980s to see Ian Kennedy's natural talent for Science Fiction finally come to blossom with his work on 'Time Quake' and 'Ro-Busters' for Star Lord, Dan Dare for the New Eagle and - best of all imho - the giant spaceship Wildcat for IPC's short-lived comic of the same name (not to mention some amazing Starblazer covers!).

    Then again he was always so good at *everything* he ever did perhaps it isn't surprising that people should have wanted to keep him busy with other subjects instead.

  7. the cover where dan is poping out of his bunk,inside has a fan drawing by a young 17yr old fan who's me!, little did i know that years later i would get the chance to draw dan for the new eagle, just found my sample dare pages will scan soon for my blog drawn in 1990.
    ian kennedy has always been in my top ten u.k artists list ,everything flows with his work ,he can draw great battles ,spaceships and make everything feel real, a fantastic all round artist ,so pleased to see these covers again thanks peter

  8. Dan Dare Reprints

    When I was editing some of the later Dan Dare collections for Titan, I did suggest reprints of at least some of the 1980s Dan Dare, but they weren't convinced and clearly sales of the original weren't good enough to justify continuation.

    Which is a shame as they'd almost reached the point of strips that had never been collected.

    With some help from Jeremy Briggs and Richard Sheaf, I created this full checklist of Dan Dare strips here as a GoogleDoc if anyone's interested:

  9. BTW the art is copyright Dan Dare Corporation not IPC, as is Eagle itself.