Thursday, 10 October 2013

The Mekon

It occurred to me that my younger readers won't have understood my reference to the mekon in yesterday's post on Moneybags Hirst's gangnam style neonate (scroll down or CLICK). So here is The Mekon, created by Frank Hampson in 1950 for the Eagle comic strip Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future. For everything you ever wanted to know about The Mekon, but were afraid to ask, CLICK. Interesting footnote: Eagle was founded by Marcus Morris, an Anglican vicar who felt that the church was not getting its message across. He and Frank Hampson created a comic based on Christian values: Eagle. The idea was rejected by a number of publishers before Hulton Press took a chance. Huge success (CLICK).


At 10/10/13, Anonymous Kris said...

At 1/- it was an expensive comic in the 1950s - a large format with quality paper and colours. My pocket money only stretched to the Beano or Dandy at 1d or 2d. I used to be given my "rich" cousin's hand-me-down Eagle comics - and eventually his Eagle annuals

We used to listen to the Dan Dare series on Radio Luxembourg - fading in and out in the early evening. Sent of my Postal Order to join the club and received my plastic two-colour badge (red & yellow?).

Dan Dare cherryade at 6d was a luxury from the off-licence. Almost as rare a treat as the bottle of Lucozade when you were really ill.

There was also the upmarket plastic version of two cans on a tight string "communicator". The handle contained a whistle to signal you wanted to talk. In the charity shop recently I was tempted by the "space gun" that launched whirling rotors - although not branded as Dan Dare in this incarnation.I remember mine expired in a field with a sharp noise when the spring broke the internal plastic.

By the time my teenage pocket money reached the astronomical heights of 1/- a week then the Eagle was in decline. I bought the newly launched Valiant? Victor? - with written stories rather than cartoon strips.

No - I'm not going to look on eBay for what might have survived in someone's loft.

At 11/10/13, Blogger Ian Cox said...

Hi Kris

You got Eagle annual hand-me-downs. Wow! I got Daily Express Rupert annuals. It was Dandy or Beano for me as well, until I was about 10 or 11, when I started reading the Junior Express. I remember following Wulf The Briton for a while. I was hooked on that. Lots of library visits for Just William books, Famous Five and Biggles. They're still going strong with today's kids.

At 11/10/13, Anonymous Kris said...

My aunt used to give me a new Rupert annual at Christmas. I bought one from the charity shop recently just to remind myself of the style and content - The Young Oz magazine version excepted.

For some reason Just William wasn't consciously on my reading list. The Famous Five and Biggles definitely were - and the Bobbsey Twins - plus my sister's Highland Twins. Three books a day from the local library in the school holidays. Deaf to the world with my nose in a book - better than lugging 10lb of potatoes from the corner shop.

Our household had The Daily Mirror with "Garth" and "The Perishers". My grandfather had the News Chronicle and Daily Herald. I would read anything that was in front of me - even the back of the proverbial cereal packet with its bicarbonate powered "Nautilus".

Apparently East Anglian museums have decided to start capturing people's memories of the 70s - choppers and space-hoppers no doubt.

At 7/11/13, Blogger Ian Cox said...

Hi, Kris

I think your comment must have vanished into my spam box. I only just found it in pending comments on Blogger while posting another comment.

My father was a lifelong supporter of The Daily Express and The Evening Standard, bought to read while commuting to and from work. I didn't follow Rupert in the Express, because it was black and white and I wanted colour. The annuals were very attractive in colour.

My only memories of The Evening Standard was when I was in my late 20's and I started following its chess puzzles: Whita to mate in 3 moves, that sort of thing. It improved my chess no end.


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