The Story So Far…

CHC: Nu 03 (2094/5 AD)

Having been teleported across many light years of space, over several stages, the spaceship Paxford arrives at a newly discovered Earth-like planet.

Panels Of Paxford.

Panels of Paxford.

Here’s a ‘sneak-peek’ at another comic artwork test by Marko. As in the previous post, the images combine the features of Vue 8 and Manga Studio EX 4. As Marko said: “I used the Paxford 3D model for this one and added some characters too (extras I guess)”.

At this stage, the main point of the tests is to create examples of a distinctive overall look, by combining CGI elements with hand drawing and natural tones. So as the D&S tag line says, ‘evolution and imagination’.


Points Of Vue

In addition to using CGI software products generally, Marko has recently started using a software for creating comics digitally: Manga Studio EX 4. Although the product is aimed at comic production specifically, as Marko said: “It seems to be very stable and capable software for creating illustrations too”. Having updated from Vue 6 to Vue 8 also, Marko has been making some test images, combining renderings from the new version with the illustration features from Manga Studio.

Here’s a ‘sneak-peek’ at an early test, where renders from Vue were converted to a background tone with Manga Studio. People and other details were added with Manga Studio’s painting tools. The speech balloons were also added to round-off the ‘comic artwork’ look.

The Vue From Here.

The Vue from here.

Manga Studio clearly has great potential for giving Dorad & Sirius the look of a classic comic adventure concept combined with up-to-date techniques. So then, onwards and upwards!


Commercial Whaling

The annual Meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) begins on June 21st in Agadir, Morocco, which could result in commercial whaling being resumed for the first time in 24 years. A team from WDCS (Whale & Dolphin Conservation Society) is campaigning at the meeting, attempting to prevent the described ‘deal’ from happening.

Please follow the link to the section of the WDCS website covering the IWC meeting specifically. There is a newly produced video highlighting the proposed whaling resumption, along with the option for sending a direct ‘e-letter’ to protest personally against the plan. WDCS will be reporting daily from the meeting, with regular updates of reports and new video blogs.

Thank-you for your time.


Lagrangeville Preview

Here’s a preview of Lagrangeville, the next location to be featured in Dorad & Sirius.

An asteroid spaceport module within Lagrangeville.

An asteroid spaceport module within Lagrangeville.

As mentioned in the details for Pacific Chakra and New Moon, most of the electricity used on Earth is supplied by Space-Based Solar Power (SBSP). It is Lagrangeville, situated at a stable gravitational point, or Lagrange Point, between Earth and the Moon, which is the principal element in the SBSP network.

Today, there are several companies and organisations outlining plans for producing SBSP. One such company, Space Energy, has a comprehensive website setting out the project details, along with useful information about Space-Based Solar Power generally.


Eagle & Dan Dare: 60th Anniversary

Sixty years ago today, the classic comic Eagle was launched (or at least I think it was). To be honest, I’m not sure if April 14th shown on the first issue’s cover, refers to the week-ending date (often used by comics and magazines at the time), or the actual date of publication.

While the general style and quality of Eagle provided inspiration for many other later comics (including TV Century 21), the most popular and successful element was undoubtedly Dan Dare, created, written and principally illustrated by Eagle’s co-founder Frank Hampson.

As mentioned in an earlier post, PS Publishing are marking the sixtieth anniversary with the launching of Tomorrow Revisited, a completely new version of Alastair Crompton’s earlier book about Frank Hampson and his work, The Man Who Drew Tomorrow. The new book can be ordered directly from their website.

Tomorrow Revisited also features seven unused characters created by Frank Hampson for Eagle, showing examples in print for the first time, along with concept and adventure background details. The seven character formats specifically, along with other examples of Frank Hampson’s work, can be seen in Wakefield Carter’s website (also written by Alastair Crompton), The Lost Characters Of Frank Hampson.

As for Dan Dare himself, as featured in earlier posts, he lives on in the pages of Spaceship Away, with the twentieth issue currently on sale and issue 21 in preparation.

So it’s a special sixtieth anniversary for Eagle and of course, Happy Birthday Dan Dare!


UniComics Festival

As featured on the Down The Tubes Blog, the University of Hertfordshire (UK), is hosting the UniComics Festival this month (April 22nd-25th).

Described as ‘a celebration of all kinds of comics for all kinds of people’, the festival will include guest discussions about Eagle, which has a special significance as the event takes place shortly after the sixtieth anniversary of both the comic and Dan Dare on April 14th.


TV Century 21: 45th Anniversary

Many thanks to Lew Stringer’s comics blog, for reminding me that TV Century 21 was launched 45 years ago today. As Lew mentions, most people left out the word ‘Century’ and just called it TV21, which is how it is mainly remembered. The article includes pictures of all the pages from the first issue, along with a promotional image from the time of the launch. If like me, you have memories of enjoying such a classic comic, click here. Happy Birthday TV21.


Away Day Extra

Well, you need to laugh sometimes!

Well, you need to laugh sometimes!

Thank-you to Nick Spender, one of the guests at Spaceship Away Day, for sending me a few of his pictures to post on the blog, especially as they include Greta Tomlinson, the main guest from the original Eagle years (I never did get round to asking if I could take her picture on the day).

Greta Tomlinson

Greta Tomlinson.

Here’s a look at some of the models by Sid Clark, as shown in the ‘Flickr’ set linked to the previous Away Day post, but this time with Sid as well.

Sid Clark and his models.

Sid Clark and his models.

And finally, Tim Booth or as Nick said, “Tim looking villainous after the fish and chips – or maybe it’s indigestion”?

Tim Booth, anything The Mekon can do...

Tim Booth, anything The Mekon can do…


Paxford Preview

Currently, the latest image on Marko’s website is Paxford, the principal spaceship in Dorad & Sirius. The craft will be featured on the main site, along with other locations later. In the meantime, here’s a look at different stages of Paxford’s development, from early thumbnail sketches to various test renders.

Paxford in development.

Paxford in development.