Spaceship Away

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Spaceship Away is an illustrated magazine, largely based on the classic British space hero Dan Dare, from the pages of "Eagle", a boys' illustrated magazine, published in the UK and running from 1950 to 1966, featuring new full colour stories written and drawn in the style of series creator Frank Hampson. Spaceship Away was created by Rod Barzilay as an attempt to revive the original Dan Dare of the 1950s and early 1960s. It was born after Rod's efforts to arrange publication of the story he had written, and persuaded original Dan Dare artists Keith Watson and Don Harley to draw, "The Phoenix Mission," ran up against commercial lack of interest. Rod launched Spaceship Away in 2003 as a vehicle for his story, and other artists and writers with an interest in Dan Dare rapidly came on board.

Initially devoted to "Dan Dare," Spaceship Away now includes "other Sci-Fi like Charles Chilton's 'Journey into Space,' and Sydney Jordan's 'Hal Starr'."[1] and (as of February 2017) is still a going concern.

The first story to appear was the Dan Dare adventure "The Phoenix Mission". Initial work was by Keith Watson, but after Watson's death the strip was taken over from the second episode by Don Harley with later help from Tim Booth. The strip is a deliberate imitation of the 1950s version, to the point of drawing each page as the front of the 1950s Eagle. It is in full colour and contains art well up to the best of commercial standards.

Other regular contributors include Tim Booth, who now co-draws the lead "The Green Nemesis" (the sequel to "The Phoenix Mission" strip), also written by Rod Barzilay; and Keith Page, who drew several revived Dan Dare strips in New Eagle.

"The Green Nemesis" story takes place in 2012 in the Sargasso Sea of Space made famous in Hampson's "Reign of the Robots". Keith Page writes and draws "Rocket Pilot" which is set just before Dan's first trip to Venus in 1994 and maps the prelude to the famous "Kingfisher" expedition. Tim Booth also writes and draws "The Gates of Eden" which is placed in 1998 at the commencement of the first Treen/Theron food shipments to Earth. Spaceship Away also runs one-page Dan Dare spoofs such as "Mekki" and "Our Bertie" by Ray Aspden, Eric MacKenzie's "Dan Dire" and "Dan Bear" by Andy Boyce. It also features new Dan Dare text stories by Denis Steeper set in the period immediately after the Eagle's original strips, when Dan is no longer Dan, but Sir Daniel, and has been elevated to Controller-in-Chief of Space Fleet.

As an aside for those interested in DD trivia, although the Spacefleet uniform used in the strips is the old one, its cap badge is changed. The rocket was replaced by the sideways-flying eagle logo of the defunct magazine.

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