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Frank Hampson (1918-1985)

Frank Hampson (1918-1985)

The adventures of ‘Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future’ were set around the year two thousand but, according to his creator, Frank Hampson, they really began in Belgium in 1944 when, as a young army lieutenant, he watched the German V-2 rockets soaring into the sky. In 1953, he wrote, ‘On the quays of Antwerp you could watch the birth of Space Travel’. By that time the popularity of his strip cartoon, Dan Dare, had rocketed the sales of the Eagle comic into the outer stratosphere, and every week a million boys waited with bated breath for the next episode.

The son of a policeman, Frank Hampson was born in a small terraced house in Audenshaw, near Manchester, on 21 December 1918. Three months later he moved with his family to Southport, and it was there that he spent his early life. Revealing a talent for drawing while a pupil at George V Grammar School, he attended life classes at the local school of art when he began to work for the Post Office.

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