Friday, 12 March 2010


News over at Rich's place that Sam Worthington (star of some minor Jim Cameron film) is to play Dan Dare.

A mixture of fear and excitement from me on this one.

I love Dan Dare, the original.

Created by Frank Hampson and ably supported by his studio team, it set a benchmark in professionalism and story telling in those dank post-war days. Full colour, with models and sets created just for the two pages a week, boys would scramble for the comic every week.

I found Dan Dare through an old annual I found in the attic and was entranced. Sure idiots who didn't know better would accuse it of being imperialist in attitude but that missed the point - Space Fleet was a world-wide organisation that happened to be run on RAF lines with Sir Hubert as boss and Dan Dare as the poster boy for the service. And cricket was stil being played!

For a boy in the 70s, where war films were on every Sunday, British phlegm in a Sci-Fi setting wasn't odd at all, in fact quite endearing.

I remember walking three miles into town, in the snow, just to get the biography: The Man who Drew Tomorrow!

Late 70s saw 2000AD come on the scene, with an updated Dan Dare - terrible quite frankly and missed the point of it. Within a few issues Judge Dredd would become the star of the progs.

Then in the 80s came the new Eagle. A bizzare mixture of photo-strips and comic strips, Dan Dare came his grandson. Fairly hit and missed, visually I felt it was only right when that stalwart Ian Kennedy took the art reins.

I kinda missed the relaunch with the "original" Dan Dare coming back - now he was a WW2 pilot shot into the future, Buck Rogers stylee and I missed the Dan Dare comic which utilised the likes of David Pugh to update the look if not the characters.

However, Dan Dare obviously has had an impact of quite a few creators.

Grant Morrison and Rian Hughes created the brilliant satire for Revolver, Dare, whilst Warren Ellis and Chris Weston almost did a love letter to him with their Ministry of Space mini.

I have to say I wasn't that keen on the recent Dan Dare by Garth Ennis and Gary Erskine but respected what they were tring to do.

Which leads me to my concern -

Dan Dare just won't go away but the ones that succeed the best were those that treated the "culture" of his world if you like properly.

If this film does go ahead then I want to see mono-cars, cricket on the World BBC service, anastasia, green RAF uniforms...oh and Andy Srikis playing the Mekon!

And Chris Weston has to be involved - although I suspect that he is already camped outside the studio gates ;)

Update: Doh, got my Pugh's mixed up, I meant David Pugh of course (thanks Anon)

1 comment:

  1. - one thing, DAVID pugh worked on dan dare, not steve pugh. two brit comic artists called pugh, no relation though!