Panel by Panel: Daring Legs

FW Presents Panel by Panel, the show that dissects a single comic book panel from the last 85 years of comics history every episode. Siskoid sits down with Clinton Robison with a cup of coffee and a random comics panel, this one from a Dan Dare collection! Do you know your British comic strips? Well, it doesn’t matter. We’re not experts either. Plus, your feedback from the previous episode.

All relevant images in the Panel by Panel Supplemental.

This podcast is a proud member of the FIRE AND WATER PODCAST NETWORK

Subscribe via iTunes as part of the FIRE AND WATER PODCAST:

Leave us a comment, we’ll read it between the panels!

9 responses to “Panel by Panel: Daring Legs

  1. Fun discussion! I’m getting a strong EC vibe off of this panel. The coloring reminds me of what Marie Severin was doing over there at this same time in the 50s. It’s a very dramatic, and intriguing panel, and I really dig the detail work on those legs, and the composition!


  2. Thanks so much for letting me join in on this, Siskoid. Such a wonderful editing job.

    I highly encourage everybody to take the “challenge” of looking at a random panel. It’s incredibly fun, and I promise Siskoid is a kind and benevolent host.

  3. Thanks for another fun edition, always nice to hear Clinton, and yes, that’s quite the panel. As you asked, Eagle was indeed tabloid sized, with better printing than anything else at the time.

    The sympathy shown for those poor alien blighters would hopefully be felt by any of us, but Eagle did have a specific mission to spread good, moral values in what was viewed as an increasingly unchristian world. Heck, an early take on Dan Dare had him not as Pilot of the Future, but space chaplain!

    Intentions apart, I bet a few growing kids found that shapely leg a bit sexy… then remembered it was on a ‘deider’, as we say in Scotland.

    1. I kind of like that chaplain idea though I’m sure it has less universal appeal. A bit the way I like the Father Brown mysteries (and certainly Alec Guiness’ turn in the role).

  4. How exciting to hear Dan Dare mentioned on the Network! You didn’t so much ‘find my joy’ as randomly stumble upon it!

    ‘Eagle’ comic was a boys magazine that launched in the UK in the Spring of 1950, and was a massive success on launch – issue 1 is estimated to have had a readership of 2,500,000! It combined a mixture of comic strips, text stories and intricate cutaway diagrams, but Dan Dare was its soaraway flagship character.

    Chris Franklin describes an ‘EC vibe’ in this panel (I guess it’s the girlie pin-up legs and the garish 50’s colours)… but ‘Eagle’ could not have been further from that; the editor of ‘Eagle’ was a clergyman who created a comic book designed to promote Christian morals and values as a direct answer to the perception of gruesome American horror comics. Perhaps it was the promise of strong moral messages that persuaded parents that it would be OK for their sons to read ‘Eagle’ – which might go some way to account for the publishing success. (It certainly explains why Dan Dare was initially to have been a space chaplain!)

    Dan Dare had legendary and ground-breaking art – Frank Hampson and later Frank Bellamy assembled and worked with an art team to create the weekly stories – they were probably the first to use photographs to stage what each panel would look like, created hundreds of detailed props to give the sci-fi vehicles and equipment a hitherto unforeseen realism, and created character sheets to give visual consistency to the main characters between stories.

    ‘Eagle’ comic was much loved by my late Dad (he was born in 1945, so it’s early years came at a perfect time for him as a young boy) and was the reason why he remained such a science fiction fan in later life. I inherited three original Eagle Annuals from him (Numbers 5,6 and 7.)

    Dan Dare speaks to an more innocent, optimistic post-war time. He reappeared in a 1980’s relaunch of ‘Eagle’ (just in time for my own childhood!) and 2000AD briefly had him as a star, but it’s the original 50’s stories that hold the most fascination for me.

    Thanks to the Randomizer for selecting a seemingly obscure but joyous comic book.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Chris.

      I wouldn’t say Dan Dare was obscure (there was a cartoon series after all), but he’s definitely less of a GLOBAL phenomenon than, say, Batman.

      1. Absolutely! Somehow, I think his ‘Britishness’ might limit the appeal of the character elsewhere. I do remember the CGI cartoon – although I don’t know if it was a particularly big hit?
        Big Finish (of Doctor Who fame) released a short series of Dan Dare audio dramas, including Operation Saturn.

  5. Whoops! Playing catch-up; luckily not a lot of reading required, and you provide it!

    I’ve only seen random panels of Dan Dare. Well not truly random*, from spaceship indexes, so whatever panels on hand with the Anastasia in them. I was waiting for someone to say, “The Naked Time” in your commentary, but you didn’t quite get there.

    *Hey, explorers from space, then Earth explorers in space, with Daring legs, and on to a romance comic. But I believe in the randomizer!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *