"In the past, sci-fi strips had used word-panels to describe the
advances of other-planet civilisations. I meant to show readers
what others artists could only tell them."
                                                              - Frank Hampson

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jet-copter cutaway

Hampson started drawing the way he meant to continue. This frame is from Eagle No. 4 and was printed only 3.15" deep by 3" wide. Yet we see the innards of his jet-copter down to the rivets in the corner-plates. Was this necessary? Of course not. So why did he do it? Because he could, and because he loved to work like this. Was it good for him? On the contrary; within 18 months he became ill from overwork.

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english coastline

Lest you think the frame above is a 'one-off', here is the frame that followed. We are in England's green and pleasant land, a church, a quayside with boats, traffic-flowing freeways, green fields and trees. Note how the jet-copter casts a shadow on the sea. All in a space 3.15" by 2.5".

mekonta drill square

The squares on the drill square.
Looking down on an Atlantine army drill square in Mekonta as a guard starts to assemble. You can not imagine why Hampson would take such trouble, but that's what you do when you're the best in the world.

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Spend a moment on this frame.

It is from Eagle Volume 2, No.16, dated 27th July 1951. In the comic it measures 4" deep by 4.25" wide. There are 18 other frames in that weeks' story, most of them drawn in the same detail.

This frame comes from a transparency of the original artwork and is considerably enlarged. Sadly the art has been spoiled by Sellotape, the remains of which discolour the lower section.

Artist John Ridgway has scanned the frame, and restored it to its original shine - the work of many hours. To give you an idea of Hampson's intense effort, how many flowers has he put in the table centre-piece?


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